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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Las Vegas RTC mulls light-rail system, monorail extension


The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) yesterday released a transportation investment business plan outlining a series of mobility recommendations to help Las Vegas keep up with growing numbers of tourists and residents.

Among the recommendations is a call to build a light-rail transit system between downtown Las Vegas and McCarran International Airport.

The report also suggests expanding the Las Vegas Monorail via construction of a new station to serve the Sands Expo and Convention Center, along with an extension south to the Mandalay Bay's Convention Center. The extended monorail system also could include a connection to a future high-speed passenger rail station, RTC officials said in a press release.

Other projects suggested in the plan include creating a new multimodal transportation center at McCarran International Airport that would provide travelers access to taxi, shuttle, bus and light-rail services; establishing the Resort Corridor Mobility Association to facilitate collaboration between public- and private-sector stakeholders to anticipate demand and coordinate transportation resources during busy weekends and major events; and high-capacity transit improvements to Maryland Parkway and Charleston Boulevard, along with new express lines to connect the larger valley to the core area.

In total, the report's recommended projects carry a cost estimate of $7 billion to $12 billion, adjusted for inflation. While the cost of light-rail design and preliminary development is part of the overall project estimate, the costs of construction, operation and maintenance are not included.

RTC would seek public-private partnerships with investors to help pay for the light-rail system.

The projects are expected to generate $56 billion to $178 billion in cumulative economic impact and create as many as 122,000 jobs, RTC officials said.

Funding for the projects is expected to come from federal, state and local sources, along with alternative forms of financing.

"Las Vegas has a challenge most communities would like as their own: a strong economy in need of greater connectivity," said RTC General Manager Tina Quigley.  "Addressing the challenge of building infrastructure to support industry expansion will allow Las Vegas to solidify and leverage its regional economy and realize robust economic growth in the future."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/10/2015