Experts: Improving transportation vital to improving economy - 8 News NOW

Experts: Improving transportation vital to improving economy

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LAS VEGAS -- Finding ways to improve southern Nevada’s economic core was the main topic of Wednesday’s meeting of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.

Many at the meeting expressed the idea that improving transportation around the Las Vegas valley was vital to improving the economy.

The goal is to create multiple modes of transportation that would make it easier for both residents and visitors to connect to different areas.

While Las Vegas has a wide selection of restaurants, hotels, clubs and convention centers, but getting around to these places is not always an easy task.

"It really is surprising that they do not have a light rail at least better transportation in place," one convention attendee told 8 News NOW.

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, there has been an uptick in visitors coming to Las Vegas every month. The valley is well on its way to the 40 million visitor mark by the end of the year.

However, all those visitors, along with the people who live in the valley, need an efficient way to get around.

"There are traffic issues within the resort corridor. We need to have different transportation services to move people around," Robert Elliott with the LVCVA said.

One of big items the leaders at the meeting discussed is the option of a light rail system that would have stops throughout the Las Vegas valley.

An idea that some residents and visitors believe is needed.

"Having a better mode of transportation would certainly help. We're currently shuttling people from hotel to event simply because there is not a better option for visitors," visitor Patrick McDermott said.

"That would save us a lot of money on commuting and lessen traffic also. It would be nice," Ralph Gaddi said.

One of the ideas is to have the rail system connect McCarran Airport to the Las Vegas Strip for easy access for tourists and conventioneers.

The Regional Transportation Commission points out there are a number of things that would need to happen before a rail line could become a reality.

"Not just where you put a bus or how you get on a train but how you get to and from there. What is that experience like? Do you feel safe? We want to create an environment conducive to that," RTC Director of Engineering Services David Swallow said.

The Las Vegas Economic Global Alliance says it plans on making the transportation changes possible through sales tax revenues and private donations.

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