Las Vegas Monorail Project Criticized

Posted on September 6, 2000

The current proposal for a four-mile monorail system in Las Vegas is not without critics. “It’s basically just an extension of the current monorail that winds from MGM to Bally’s,” said Andy Abboud, government relations director for the Venetian Hotel. “While they have asked us to have a stop [at the hotel], we don’t want one because we think the project is not going to live up to its billing and is not for a public purpose.” Originally a $95 million, privately-funded project, a special legislative package was passed allowing for the issuance of tax exempt bonds, bringing the monorail project to a publicly-funded cost of $650 million. “In order for this project to make money and not default, it has to have the best ridership figures of any mass transit project in the history of the country since World War II,” said Abboud of the monorail, which would run behind the hotels and not on the Strip. “We’re in strong opposition and we’re going to continue to fight it.” However, the Citizens Area Transit (CAT) bus system, operated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Clark County (RTC), endorses the monorail project. “We’re the public transit provider in Clark County, so our stance is if it’s going to help move people from one place to another, then we’re all for it,” said Ingrid Yocum, public information services manager for the RTC. RTC is also considering its own fixed guideway project, either light rail or monorail. If the monorail project moves forward, the CAT segment would also be a monorail and link up seamlessly with the private system.

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