A plan by billionaire Elon Musk’s Boring Co. to build a nine-mile tunnel between San Antonio’s airport and downtown gained approval Wednesday for a feasibility study.The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority voted to further analyze the proposal, which would whisk passengers through underground tunnels in semi-autonomously driven Teslas. The project has a price tag of $247 million to $289 million, which Boring said it could help finance at a cost of up to $45 million.
Alamo RMA board member Renee Green said San Antonio's "hyperloop" could be completed in two phases. The first would connect an unspecified area downtown with the Pearl, taking 18 months to finish. If that portion proves a larger version is feasible and profitable, the second phase would connect downtown to the airport. Green said that the Boring Co. expects the full project to take 36 months to finish.
The proposal by Musk's company beat a competing bid by Bexar Automated Transport (BAT), which would have cost $330 million and required federal subsidies. BAT's proposal also would have allowed San Antonio-based businesses to work as subcontractors, while the Boring Co. made no such pledge.
Wednesday's announcement is the latest step in a two-year initiative by the Alamo RMA, who began inquiring in late 2019 whether transit-industry leaders could help connect San Antonio International Airport to the downtown area. Alamo RMA is charged with upgrading Bexar County's transportation infrastructure.
Citing Boring's bid, Alamo RMA members said the San Antonio hyper-loop would generate $25 million in revenue for the authority, which it would use to fund other local transportation projects.
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