Las Vegas opts for bus rapid transit over light rail

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Las Vegas’ transit agency has opted for bus rapid transit over light rail for an upcoming project.

The Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission board voted unanimously on Thursday for a dedicated-lane bus transit system for its Maryland Parkway corridor project, choosing the bus option over a light rail proposal and an upgrade of the existing conventional bus service.

The 8.7-mile corridor will start near the Las Vegas airport and run through downtown to the Las Vegas Medical District. [See “Las Vegas commission to consider light rail plan,” Trains News Wire, April 11, 2019.]

The Las Vegas Sun reports that cost was the biggest factor in the decision. The bus rapid transit corridor is estimated to cost $335 to build and $7.2 million in annual operating and maintenance, while light rail would have capital costs of $750 million and $11.5 million for annual operations. An upgrade of the existing Route 109 bus service would have cost just $29 million, with $6.8 million in annual costs, but also would have produced the smallest increase in ridership, according to a study by the commission.

Engineering for the project will begin in 2020, with construction starting in 2022 and a possible start to service in 2024.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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