Boring Company San Antonio project gets some competition

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 09: A Tesla car drives through a tunnel in the Central Station during a media preview of the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop on April 9, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Las Vegas Convention Center Loop is an underground transportation system that is the first commercial project by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company. The USD 52.5 million loop, which includes two one-way vehicle tunnels 40 feet beneath the ground and three passenger stations, will take convention attendees across the 200-acre convention campus for free in all-electric Tesla vehicles in under two minutes. To walk that distance can take upward of 25 minutes. The system is designed to carry 4,400 people per hour using a fleet of 62 vehicles at maximum capacity. It is scheduled to be fully operational in June when the facility plans to host its first large-scale convention since the COVID-19 shutdown. There are plans to expand the system throughout the resort corridor in the future. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Boring Company’s (TBC) potential San Antonio project has some competition. The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (RMA)received four proposals from other contractors to transport people between San Antonio International Airport and downtown.

The Alamo RMA received five proposals in total, including one from The Boring Company. Another proposal was submitted by a group comprising Utah-based Praetor Capital, Missouri tunneling company SAK Construction LLC, Thalle Construction Company, Inc. from North Carolina, and a software company Modutram from Mexico.

Alamo RMA staff are currently reviewing each proposal, stated Bexar Country spokesperson Monica Ramos. Board members will interview each bidder between Jan. 17 to Jan. 21, 2022 and are expected to announce a finalist by Feb. 22, 2022.

In August, reports spread that TBC was talking with San Antonio city officials about a potential tunneling project. The Boring Company responded to the Alamo RMA’s 2019 invitation for contractors to pitch transportation projects. According to the RMA’s invitation, the purpose of the request was to “a) develop new delivery methods for transportation projects and/or b) develop new revenue sources or identify revenue sharing arrangements that would provide the Alamo RMA increased capacity to complete additional transportation projects.”

The trip between the San Antonio International Airport to the Henry B. González Convention Center downtown is 9.6 miles, about a 15-minute drive. The San Antonio tunnel would be much longer than the TBC’s Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Loop in Sin City. The LVCC Loop comprises two one-way tunnels with three passenger stations stretching .8miles. The potential San Antonio Loop is also longer than the Las Olas Loop TBC is working on in Fort Lauderdale, which may extend 2.4 miles each way from downtown to the beach.

As per the San Antonio Express News, there are still many unknowns tied to the TBC project, such as the fare price and the tunneling company’s expected annual revenue for the transportation system. The city is also unsure how much a Boring Company tunnel would set back taxpayers.

However, based on TBC’s other projects, the tunneling company seems open to finding ways to make its tunnel systems affordable for cities to construct and people to ride. For instance, Mayor Trantalis of Fort Lauderdale said the Las Olas Loop’s fare would be as much as the price of coffee.

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