Elon Musk’s Boring Company will let you pay for a ride with Dogecoin

The Loop consists of passengers traveling in human-driven Tesla vehicles at about 35 mph, a The scaled-down version of founder Elon Musk’s original vision of high-capacity vehicles traveling at 150 mph. The Boring Company has described driving automation and traveling at higher speeds in the future.

The new payment option appeared Friday as the Boring Company opened its first Loop station outside the Las Vegas Convention Center, which already has three stops. It’s also the latest example of Musk promoting Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency whose value has fallen sharply in the past year. The Boring Company hopes to eventually expand to more than 50 stops on the Vegas Strip, including casinos, resorts and Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. Clarke County, Nevada, ADOPTED expansion plan last year, which will not use taxpayer dollars.
Rides are currently free on the Loop, with plans to charge eventually, though the company hasn’t revealed a specific time. Single rides will cost $1.50 and day passes can be purchased for $2.50, according to the Vegas Loop website. Riders will be able to scan a large QR code on a wall at the new Resorts World station to purchase a ticket. People who don’t want to pay with Dogecoin can use a traditional credit card and US dollars.
Dogecoin started as a joke in 2013, featuring a Shiba Inu dog that was a popular internet meme. Cryptocurrencies have had many critics, including Dogecoin co-creator Jackson Palmer, who left the space and said he won’t be back given concerns that powerful cryptocurrency insiders get rich by exploiting the public.
Dogecoin rose to prominence as Musk spoke about it in recent years, including on Saturday Night Live. A single Dogecoin can be bought for around 7 cents, well below its peak of around 68 cents, which he hit last year. The cryptocurrency had risen by around 4000% in 2021, but like all cryptocurrencies faced sharp declines this year. It has fallen 70% in the last 12 months.

The new Loop station at Resorts World will not connect underground to the three existing Loop stops at the Convention Center. The stations will connect to other stops like Resorts World in the future as the Loop is built throughout Vegas, according to Lori Nelson-Kraft, a spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Resorts World guests can travel from the resort to a new station, Riviera, at the Convention Center. If their trip then connects to the three existing Convention Center stops, they will travel through a parking lot and re-enter the tunnels at a Convention Center stop called West Station.

The company plans to carry about 400 passengers per hour from Resorts World, and hours of operation will vary based on the Convention Center’s schedule.

Tesla vehicles do not depart on a fixed schedule like a typical bus or train. According to Resorts World spokeswoman Dana Rutkin, until now guests have only had to wait a few minutes for a ride.

Once a passenger boards a Tesla at Resorts World, they may have to wait a short time again. There is currently only one tunnel connecting Resorts World to the Convention Center campus, so traffic will flow in one direction at a time.

“It’s still a very fast ride, but it’s going to be, hey these five cars go through this direction. When they’re safe at the passenger station, then it’s going to change direction,” Nelson-Kraft said.

The Boring Company digs small single-lane tunnels, which allow it to build tunnels at lower costs. Some tunnel projects can cost up to $1 billion per mile. The Boring Company is also working on projects in Florida and Texas.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk first announced in December 2016 that he planned to buy a tunnel boring machine and “just start digging” as a way to beat traffic. He called the venture, “The Boring Company,” and opened a tunnel outside SpaceX’s headquarters in California.

Las Vegas is home to the Boring Company’s first Loop system, which it argues is a better subway, since vehicles don’t have to stop far from their final destination. Critics have argued that the Loop inefficiently uses tunnels since the Tesla Model Y SUVs being used do not have the capacity of a bus or train.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, which runs the Convention Center, told CNN Business that the Loop has received more than 400,000 attendees and has had an average satisfaction rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.

The Boring Company did not respond to a request for comment.

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