People mover, Monorail will coexist on the north strip
Sunday July 5, 2020 | 2 a.m
In Las Vegas, it’s often the novelty that gets the most attention.
As plans advance for a possible expansion of the underground passenger transportation project at the Las Vegas Convention Center, an older transit system – the Las Vegas monorail – has taken a back seat.
A private public transportation system, the Monorail is an elevated train that runs along a 3.9 mile route adjacent to the Strip.
The monorail has been out of service since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and no restart date has been announced.
Meanwhile, conversations about the future of transportation on the Strip have recently focused on the people transfer project.
On June 9, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Steve Hill spoke at a board meeting about plans to expand the people transfer project.
The People Mover is a $ 52.5 million underground transportation system to transport people around the Convention Center campus in Tesla electric vehicles. Each shuttle – there would be up to 62 in service at a time – would carry up to 16 people.
Elon Musk’s Boring Company is building the project.
Wynn Las Vegas and the Under Construction Resorts World Las Vegas have also announced plans to connect to the system from their properties on the North Strip.
Hill said the subway line could also extend to other resorts along the Strip and to Allegiant Stadium, just west of Mandalay Bay.
âIt’s more than two (stations) that want to do this,â Hill said. “It’s the first two that make sense.”
Expansion of the ferry still requires regulatory approval from Clark County.
The Monorail company has a non-compete clause for the area it operates in the resort corridor. But the agreement exempts transit systems that move passengers from point to point nonstop, Hill said.
Hill said LVCVA was in talks with monorail officials on how to “best keep the monorail functioning,” which he called an important transportation link.
As for the impact of an expanded passenger transportation system on ridership on the monorail, Ingrid Reisman, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of the Las Vegas Monorail Company, said she would need more details on the proposals.
âWe have always supported the on-campus (Convention Center) people transfer project,â said Reisman. âThis central station is located in front of a car park at our monorail station (at the Palais des congrÃ¨s). We have always supported multimodal solutions because the monorail cannot serve everyone for all transport needs, just like all other modes of transport either.
Last year, the monorail carried just under 5 million passengers, a figure that will drop significantly this year due to the pandemic.
Reisman said she hopes the monorail will work again this summer, but she cannot guarantee that.
With no user fees and its paused sponsorship deals, there is no more money to be made now. It doesn’t help that the nonprofit doesn’t qualify for coronavirus paycheck protection or government-backed stimulus loans.
In October, the Monorail company announced that it had funding for a new station – it now has seven – to service the Sands Expo Center, the Venetian and the MSG Sphere entertainment complex under construction.
He also previously announced his intention to expand further south on the Strip with a new station near Mandalay Bay.
âWe still believe Sands Station and Mandalay Bay Station make sense, both for the business and from a Strip mobility perspective,â said Reisman. âIt also makes sense for the community, as we transport so many people and reduce emissions and congestion. What does this lapse of time look like? I do not know. We must now focus on the sustainability of the business and the resumption of operations. It is to be guessed for the moment. “
Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft recently visited the convention center’s passenger transport tunnel system, which is expected to be completed early next year.
âI’m really impressed with (the Boring Company’s) ability to move visitors and residents around the convention center campus quickly and efficiently,â said Naft.
âI see the potential for expansion throughout the Strip corridor and then – from what I understand from the long-term view – into the residential corridor,â he said. “I think there is a real opportunity here to move people in a safe way that is both efficient and good for our environment.”
Hill said earlier this month that LVCVA officials had spoken to some downtown Las Vegas resort owners about the possibility of bringing a people-transport route there, although nothing has been finalized.
There is no doubt that the concept of transporting people can coexist with other transport options, Hill said.
âWe’re not trying to monopolize a transportation solution,â Hill said. âAny transportation solution in Las Vegas will be on many levels. Uber, Lyft, taxis, Monorail, they all play a role.
âPeople have seen the congestion that exists. We have to fix this problem, and it takes all mods to do it, âHill said.
Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly, also a member of the LVCVA board of directors, said there was room for the people carrier and the monorail.
âI think they can make a good marriage. I would like to see (the Monorail) go further. I would love to be able to get off a plane, collect my luggage, get on the monorail and have it take me straight to Sands or Mandalay Bay. Would that be beautiful? “