Railway Age advances the notion that private transit is simply not feasible in the U.S. due to economic fluctuations, as shown by the declaration of bankruptcy of the not-for-profit Las Vegas Monorail Company.
The four-mile, six-stop elevated railway opened to much fanfare in July, 2008. While it will continue to operate after its bankruptcy declaration, it's long-term future is uncertain. It's largest creditor is Bombardier Transportation Inc.
"The Las Vegas Monorail Co., though formed as a not-for-profit company, filed (Jan. 13) with federal bankruptcy court due to falling ridership, attributed to the economic recession. The company oversees the roughly 4-mile elevated service connecting hotels on the Las Vegas Strip with the Convention Center.
Since the overwhelming majority of North American public transit operations rely on some form of government support, the bankruptcy may be a telling indicator of how "private-sector" options, often advanced by those opposed to government support for rail and public transit, may nonetheless be vulnerable to fluctuations in economic conditions."
Thanks to Clyde L. Anderson
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HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
City of Birmingham, Alabama
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Colorado Department of Local Affairs
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