From the mailbag
Today’s “Question of the Day” about the future of the Sahara Hotel & Casino‘s monorail stop (and, by extension, the future of the Las Vegas Monorail itself) provoked a long and thoughtful response from an S&G reader. (By the way, don’t forget to take our poll on the Sahara.) The fate of the bankrupt Monorail …
“… also points out an issue with any rail-based form of mass transportation — its enormous inflexibility, especially compared with bus-based options. As population centers and resort destinations change over time, rail-based transportation is unable to adapt to the change in demand for its services.
“Consider this: instead of some (extremely-expensive) pie-in-the-sky high-speed rail system linking a single-point terminus in the SoCal region (central Los Angeles, Anaheim, LAX, Victorville, ???) to a single-point terminus in the Vegas area (Downtown, South Strip, North Strip, McCarran, ???) that would be a decade or more in the future before actually operating at a construction cost of multi billions of dollars, the same number of daily passengers could be moved via high-end hybrid commuter buses for a literal FRACTION of the cost — and start operating later this year.
“Additionally, instead of just one inconvenient (for the majority of potential passengers) terminus location in the massive SoCal region, there could be at least 5-10 locations throughout the area, ranging from Thousand Oaks through central LA and down to Orange County (and even San Diego).
“Want to add Phoenix? Instead of spending BILLIONS to add a rail leg down to the Valley of the Sun, for the cost of just a few of these hybrid commuter buses service to Phoenix is added — done. With the savings of billions of dollars in construction costs, the operating costs of these buses could be subsidized (if needed) from just a fraction of that savings.
“Imagine this: you live in Thousand Oaks (on the northern edge of the SoCal region), or Anaheim, or San Diego, or even Phoenix. For a subsidized cost of $20 each way, from a convenient location close to your house you can be driven in comfort to Vegas in a brand-new high-end vehicle and be dropped off at multiple locations along the Strip (and even Downtown). That service could be up and running later this year — with just a small sliver of the federal dollars being thrown at the ‘high-speed’ rail option (which is more and more looking like it might not be that ‘high-speed’ after all — even after costing billions).
“As a driver to Vegas when visiting, I for one would seriously consider such an option (especially at that low of cost). And getting 50 or so passengers per hybrid-bus out of their cars and into single vehicles would HAVE to help with the congestion that everyone complains about getting into and out-of Vegas on the weekends, as well as with helping the environment.
“And linking back to the Question of the Day: so what if an old resort closes, or a popular new resort opens, or a new population center pops up in SoCal — these pick-up and drop-off locations can be easily modified as needed by market-force demands.
“Ah, forget it, this plan is really more of a ‘Shelbyville‘ sort of plan.. :-)”
Just make those bus drivers take sobriety tests — that’s all I ask.
the re-themed, semi-refurbished Tropicana Las Vegas gets a thumbs-up
. Out east, readers of American Casino Guide
(bookmark that site!) have their say on Cannery Casino Resorts
‘ sister property in Pennsylvania
, the racino known as The Meadows
. Their verdict? A resounding “meh”
— 2.5 out of a possible five stars.
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, The Strip
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