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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Monthly revenue up, ridership down for Las Vegas Monorail

A fare hike implemented in January is working both for and against the Las Vegas Monorail.

Last month, the agency posted revenue of $2.5 million — a nine percent increase compared with December and 25 percent hike compared with January 2005.

However, ridership dropped from 726,000 in December to 563,823 in January. Year-over-year ridership also dipped. As a result, FitchRatings announced yesterday it’s downgrading $451.4 million in bonds from “BBB-” to “BB.” Las Vegas Monorail used the bonds to help fund the system’s construction.

Last month, the privately funded transportation agency increased single fares from $3 to $5; one-day passes, from $10 to $15; and 10-ride passes, from $20 to $35.

To attract more riders this year, the agency plans to nearly quadruple its marketing and advertising budget, pursue more group ticket sales, and add ticket sale outlets and venues.

The four-mile monorail system connects eight major hotels/casinos and several convention centers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/14/2006