The Las Vegas Strip is the center of the Las Vegas valley and the heart of its economy, but as we all know, that heart often gets clogged.
Transportation officials have looked at options to ease traffic problems in the resort corridor and now, they’re taking a second look at an old idea — light rail.
On a Friday night, traveling along the Strip can be a challenging whether it’s in a car, on a bus on on your feet.
As the transportation leaders look for ways to get everyone around faster, the corridor is getting special attention.
In the Monday afternoon heat, Vance Primus waits for a ride that will take him from Planet Hollywood to Trump Tower.
“We don’t like walking and it’s like a few places we like to go,” he said. “Not that far. So, we hop on the bus.”
The bus, instead of Uber or a cab.
If you’re like Primus and from a city like Chicago, it’s second nature. If you’ve lived in Las Vegas long enough, you know mass transit options are limited.
“The feasibility of light rail is exactly what we’re looking at,” said David Swallow, Regional Transportation Commission.
He’s is an engineer with the RTC of southern Nevada. As it looks at mass transit options for the entire valley, the Strip is getting extra attention.
In particular, light rail.
“I don’t know that we’ve had any cries for light rail,” Swallow said. “It’s more of a demand for ease of mobility.”
There’s little doubt that on a busy weekend, the resort corridor gets crowded. Buses and the monorail help, but the RTC says there just isn’t enough road.
“There is no one solution. We have to figure out how to provide as many options as possible,” Swallow said.
So, it’s doing a feasibility study on transit along the Strip, and that includes light rail.
Light rail on the Strip is not a new idea. There was another study 10 years ago and it went nowhere. But since then, Swallow says things have changed.
The economy is better, major casino properties have consolidated and now light rail may be possible.
“I think there’s more of an openness to replace it, in detail,” Swallow said.
Primus says he could get on board.
“That would be nice. That would be very nice,” he said.
The study will be finished by the fall of next year. Even if the conclusion was positive, Swallow said, light rail is a good idea and funding can be found, it would be years before it became reality.