Downtown San Antonio to Pearl in 2 Minutes — A First Look at Elon Musk’s Pitch for the Tunnel

The Boring Co. Tunnel Transit System from San Antonio International Airport to downtown could carry up to 112,000 passengers a day on its route along US 281 and generate annual revenues of up to $25 million, according to the Austin company’s proposal.

Passengers would pay $10 or $12 to ride Tesla electric vehicles for a 10-minute ride from the airport downtown and two minutes from downtown the Pearl.

The details were included in a presentation Wednesday at Alamo Regional Mobility Authority board during the first public review of the proposal which it agreed in mid-March to explore as a revenue generator to fund other transportation projects in the region.

“With projected annual revenues approaching $25 million, the RMA would have the capacity to build up to $400 million in unfunded transportation projects throughout the region,” Bexar County said. Director of Public Works Renee Greenwho is also director of engineering and operations for the authority, told the board.

Boring society., Elon Musk’s tunnel-building company, based its projections on 10% of visitors landing at the airport using the tunnel loop. It is estimated that San Antonio receives around 30 million annual visitors, 10 million of whom arrive via the airport.

It could use 100 to 350 vehicles to transport 4,500 to 15,750 passengers per hour to a mix of aboveground and underground stations. Each day, it predicts an average passenger count of 32,000 to 112,000 for the 7.6-mile one-way trip.

Based on Boring Co.’s pitch, the trip from the airport to downtown could shave a few minutes off a typical car trip, which takes about 15 minutes in moderate traffic. A tunnel trip from downtown to the Pearl could offer an alternative for visitors to the Entertainment Zone, which faces increased parking pressure.

The mobility authority says the project would have no impact on taxpayers.

“It’s purely paid for by the riders using the system,” RMA President Michael J. Lynd Jr said Wednesday.

But the Alamo Loop project has faced questions from local transportation officials, land and water rights experts, and statewide caving associations over concerns that a route following US 281 does not endanger the caves and karst topography of the region, which are home to endangered springs and animals.

The proposal on Wednesday suggests that the so-called planning route along US 281 passes through karst areas among potential environmental concerns. He says further environmental issues will be identified as the Boring Co route is investigated. This is now happening as part of the first phase of the venture since the establishment of the project is worth pursuing.

RMA said it will also hire consultants to conduct geological, feasibility and ridership studies to determine if there is enough demand to generate revenue to pay for the construction and operation of the loop.

It has not yet hired any companies to conduct the studies.

“We have not approved anything at this stage other than to consider these proposals to create additional revenue streams for RMA,” said Lynd, CEO of Kairoi Residential.

Green said the project could reduce predicted future congestion in the city, which is estimated to cost between $10 billion and $20 billion for years to come.

The Boring Co. did not respond to an interview request.

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