Will Las Vegas Gamble More On Its Monorail?

Officials hope that a planned extension to the airport will help move the monorail out of the red.

"Can the Las Vegas Monorail double down to avoid going bust?

Three years after beginning operations, the four-mile, $650-million private rail line that stretches from behind the MGM Grand to the Sahara hotel-casino is attracting about 22,285 riders a day -- far below the 54,000 predicted when the project was launched. This summer, Fitch Ratings downgraded the monorail's bond rating, already in junk status, and said financial default appeared probable."

"But Monorail officials say what they need to boost ridership and generate profit is a $500-million extension to McCarran International Airport."

"When it opened in July 2004, the monorail was the first fully automated, publicly used monorail in the U.S. funded by bonds sold to investors with no taxpayer assistance."

Full Story: Vegas monorail finds it difficult to get on track

Comments

Comments

Wendell Cox blinded in hatred of rail

Transportation consultant Wendell Cox begs to differ. He says the solution to the financial woes of the beleaguered monorail is to "tear it down. That's the first thing they should do. It's an eyesore. It has no redeeming value whatsoever."

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Considering the Vegas Monorail is private, this proves Cox is not a "free market" libertarian but just clearly hates rail and wants cars to be the only way to travel.

Its also nice to see this "consultant" put together an intelligent discussion backed up with solid arguments... oh wait a minute, its all dramatic opinionated one-liner rhetoric.

Las Vegas monorail future....

The Las Vegas monorail has a lot of potential. On the monorail line's 'other' side, opposite the hotels on The Strip, there are many vacant and underdeveloped lots. Monorail access to these lots increases their value and potential for development.

Las Vegas is a very sprawled out city - standard single-family homes in subdivisions go on for miles around the desert setting - not good home building for any desert. And, Las Vegas inner-city at The Strip and Old Town is far too dedicated to entertainment. In order for Las Vegas to diversify its economy, it must build up these underdeveloped lots. This will bring locals to the strip for more purposes and monorail riding.

The Las Vegas monorail should extend to the airport and to Old Town. These extensions will nearly perfect the basic line and help direct growth and development, as well as help manage traffic congestion.

The Las Vegas monorail funding mechanism is faulty. Mass transit is a public service that affects businesses other than those that manage and maintain transit service. Because the monetary returns benefit businesses other than the transit provider, the cost of operation should be shared by those businesses who benefit from gaining customer access. It is reasonable to distribute the cost of operation beyond the transit user and in this way fares can be brought down.

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