Las Vegas monorail ticket sales expected to miss millions

Las Vegas Monorail ticket sales are expected to be several million dollars lower than forecast for 2017 and 2018, according to budget documents released last week by the monorail company.

Ticket sales are expected to bring in around $21.4 million next year, the lowest amount since 2014.

Over the two years, the monorail is expected to generate about $6.5 million less in ticket sales than predicted in a ridership study commissioned by Monorail Co. published by BuroHappold Engineering in April 2016. Sales were also down lower than the report’s projections in 2016.

The numbers reflect additional competition from ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft, Monorail Co. spokeswoman Ingrid Reisman wrote in an email. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“Although monorail ridership was not affected as significantly as taxis and the bus system, there was still an impact,” Reisman wrote.

This impact was not taken into account in the ridership study, which called the potential impact of Uber and Lyft on the monorail “negligible”. The study is private, but the Review-Journal has obtained a copy.

The firing of the ride-sharing companies was unwise, said James E. Moore II, director of the University of Southern California’s transportation engineering program.

“I don’t really think it’s a good idea to dismiss these technology platforms, because they’ve competed very effectively with taxis, and they’ve competed on just about every front,” he said. he declares.

Doubtful forecasts

Monorail Co. President and CEO Curtis Myles said increased ticket sales were vital for the company to repay $110 million it plans to borrow to fund an expansion. mile route from the MGM Grand to the Shoppes at Mandalay Place.

The Monorail Co. filed for bankruptcy in 2010 after ticket sales were insufficient to repay the bonds that funded the construction of the system.

Budget figures for 2017 and 2018 were released online Dec. 18, a day after the Review-Journal published an article about Monorail Co.’s need to increase ridership so it can repay the money he hopes to borrow.

The Monorail Co. predicted that the new station will increase annual ridership by about 2 million people within two years.

Moore reviewed the ridership study and said he found it credible. However, he remains skeptical of his predictions.

He pointed to the study’s assumption that hotel rooms at Mandalay Bay will generate as many rides as those at other resorts with a monorail station.

“What’s unique about Mandalay Bay is that it’s also a convention center,” Moore said. “Thus, the behavior of travelers at Mandalay Bay may be different from that of travelers at other hotels.”

Moore said even in the best-case scenario, he doesn’t expect the Monorail Co. to recoup the money it spent to build the extension.

“I’ll put it another way,” Moore said. “I’m glad it’s not my money.”

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at [email protected] or 702-477-3861. To follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

(Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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