Rail News – Las Vegas RTC is considering a light rail system and monorail extension. For railway professionals

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Rail News: Passenger Rail

The Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) released a Transportation Investment Business Plan yesterday outlining a series of mobility recommendations to help Las Vegas keep up with growing numbers of tourists and residents.

Among the recommendations is a call for the construction of a light rail transit system between downtown Las Vegas and McCarran International Airport.

The report also suggests expanding the Las Vegas Monorail via the construction of a new station to serve the Sands Expo and Convention Center, as well as an extension south of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The expanded monorail system could also include a connection to a future high-speed passenger rail station, RTC officials said in a press release.

Other projects suggested in the plan include the creation of a new multimodal transportation hub at McCarran International Airport that would provide travelers with access to taxi, shuttle, bus, and light rail services; the creation of the Resort Corridor Mobility Association to facilitate collaboration between public and private sector stakeholders to anticipate demand and coordinate transportation resources during busy weekends and major events; and high-capacity transit improvements on Maryland Parkway and Charleston Boulevard, as well as new express lines to connect the Greater Valley to the Central Area.

In total, the projects recommended by the report have an estimated cost of $7 billion to $12 billion, adjusted for inflation. Although the cost of the design and preliminary development of the light rail is part of the overall project estimate, construction, operation and maintenance costs are not included.

RTC would seek public-private partnerships with investors to help pay for the light rail system.

The projects are expected to generate a cumulative economic impact of $56 billion to $178 billion and create up to 122,000 jobs, RTC officials said.

Funding for the projects should come from federal, state, and local sources, as well as other forms of funding.

“Las Vegas has a challenge that most communities would like to see made their own: a strong economy that needs greater connectivity,” said RTC CEO Tina Quigley. “Addressing the challenge of building infrastructure to support industry expansion will allow Las Vegas to solidify and leverage its regional economy and achieve robust economic growth in the future.”

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