On Wednesday, May 18, The Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (RMA) board was briefed on more details about The Boring Company’s (TBC) proposed tunnel from the San Antonio International Airport to downtown.
Bexar County Public Works director and county engineer Renee Green briefed the Alamo RMA board on The Boring Company tunnel project before the members went into executive session.
Green’s presentation noted that 10 million out of 30 million people who visit the city pass through the San Antonio International Airport. As such, the San Antonio tunnel project is expected to generate a net revenue of up to $25 million per year, with fares between $10 to $12.
“These revenue projections would require, obviously, more detailed study for reasonableness and accuracy. That’s what the ridership and revenue study will tell us,” said Green.
According to Green, all funding for the tunneling project would come from Elon Musk’s tunneling company. She emphasized that taxpayers would not spend a cent on the project. TBC offered a “turn-key lump sum construction price where they assume all the risks.” The Boring Company project is estimated to cost between $241 million and $298 million.
TBC plans to build a one-way tunnel 7.6 miles long that would possibly run parallel U.S. 281. However, the route of the tunnel will not be settled until a feasibility study is performed. An examination of potential environmental risks must be done as well.
The San Antonio tunnel would have exit shafts located every half-mile for safety purposes. The number of stations the tunnel would have is still unknown.
The presentation stated that 100 Tesla vehicles could transport about 32,000 passengers through the San Antonio tunnel daily on average. It would have a maximum capacity of transporting 4,500 passengers per hour with 100 vehicles. If the tunnel’s Tesla fleet increased to 350 vehicles, it would be able to accommodate 112,000 commuters daily and 15,750 passengers per hour from the airport to downtown.
“This is an extremely efficient system. You don’t have any cross traffic, you’re not stopping at each location, you’re either pulling in or pulling out of the tunnel system,” said Green.
She emphasized that each trip would have little to zero wait time. However, Green also highlighted that The Boring Company tunnel would work alongside traditional transit systems and would not be competing for the same ridership.
“The project can provide an equivalent capacity to both bus and rapid transit for a fraction of the operating costs that we’re talking about, while providing reliability and solving a lot of the last-mile difficulties that you see with traditional transit systems by utilizing underground rides where the system will supplement any plan for ongoing transit type projects and is not expected to replace them,” she added.