We’re always excited about new rail plans, especially in car-dependent cities. A little under two weeks ago, the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission approved a long-term regional transit plan. In Las Vegas, there are two separate plans for light rail that, if funded and built, would be a first for the city.
One light rail project could run along the Strip. “Proponents of the transit technology are pushing it as a way to better connect McCarran International Airport with the Strip and downtown Las Vegas,” reported the Las Vegas Sun. “Officials have not yet resolved one of the proposal’s biggest uncertainties—how it would be funded—but they have started to make some progress on the general concept.”
In July, the commission expects to start an 18-month long alternatives analysis, which could explore issues like light rail stop placements, track locations, and funding sources.
There are also other plans to build an 8.7 mile light rail farther east on Maryland Parkway with 25 stations. It would also run between the airport and downtown. The highest estimated cost for this project is $465 million. “A Strip light rail system could connect with what’s being proposed for Maryland Parkway, if both are built, but they come with different considerations and may operate differently,” wrote the Las Vegas Sun in an earlier article. If this plan continues to move ahead, Maryland Parkway light rail could open as early as 2023.
The city is also considering a number of project proposals: a downtown master plan, expanded bike trails, pedestrian bridges, and an urban gondola lift and monorail project.