LAS VEGEAS (KLAS) — While the beginnings of a shuttle-monorail hybrid transportation plan were announced a month ago, logistics are now unraveling for hospitality employees scheduled to work during multiple Formula One racing days.
Those involved with the mega race refer to them as “the backbone of our destination.” These employees are also expected to tack on extra travel time to their daily commutes, whether they receive additional compensation for it or not.
The complications come as the circuit – which encompasses nearly four miles of public roads typically used to access these resorts – will close at 5 p.m. daily starting November 16, with 45 different access points to Las Vegas Boulevard unavailable until 2 a.m. the following morning.
“How long is it really going to take?” Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones asked F1 officials during Tuesday’s county commission meeting, mentioning a recent and personal trip that lasted him over 20 minutes onto the Strip because of surrounding traffic.
The idea is that those workers inside the circuit will park at one of ten offsite locations before being moved inside. The Las Vegas Convention Center Parking Lot and the Rio Hotel & Casino parking lot are two of the options mentioned during the meeting.
Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA) COO Brian Yost optimistically expects “three to eight” monorail trains to pick up workers every “five to 11 minutes,” the same system that non-workers will have access to. 3,000 people an hour is the theoretical capacity of the monorail, according to the COO.
Hospitality workers can also take ground shuttles that will traverse a new 750-foot-long bridge that runs over Flamingo. It will be the only vehicle access inside the circuit when it’s hot and will allow access only to shuttles with hospitality employees during road closures.
“If the first route gets too busy, the drivers will be instructed to follow the second route,” Yost said to the board, addressing backup measures if certain routes inside the circuit become unavailable.
During Tuesday’s meeting, F1 revealed that resorts are paying monorail fares for employees which are typically $1 for locals one way. They’re also asking for them in quantities exceeding the amount of parking spaces they have on site.
For example, data provided at the meeting show Caesars Entertainment requested 6,000 monorail tickets, though the impacted properties have a combined 2,240 parking spaces between them. Yost says the requested ticketing amount does not necessarily correlate to the number of employees working over the three days of events.
RTC officials announced bus routes will be altered as well. CEO M.J. Maynard noted five specific routes to the central valley and resort corridor have seen buses arrive on schedule only 38% of the time in recent weeks due to construction valley-wide.
“If you’re telling me that 38% of the buses are going to make it, and the others are not, we are no different than the Clark County School District when kids are standing out there for hours,” Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick said while addressing transportation concerns. “The general public needs to know that we have our crap together, today.”
F1 and Clark County plan to test this transportation plan for the first time on Thursday, one week before racing-day activities begin.