RTC gets OK to seek funding for light-rail line along Maryland Parkway

Updated June 9, 2017 - 9:47 pm

Gov. Brian Sandoval gave the green light this week for officials to seek funding to build a light-rail line that could cost up to $705 million and carry passengers from McCarran International Airport to downtown Las Vegas as soon as 2023.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada has until the end of 2020 to ask Clark County voters whether sales taxes should be increased to help pay for the proposed 8.7-mile transit system, under one of the bills signed Thursday by Sandoval.

A second measure approved by the governor allows the RTC to seek partnerships with private companies wanting to invest in large-scale transportation projects, including the light-rail line.

“For Southern Nevada and my constituents, I personally would love to see light rail along Maryland Parkway,” said state Sen. Mark Manendo, who wrote Senate Bills 149 and 448. Proposed light rail route Maryland Parkway Las Vegas

“Over the next several decades, we anticipate experiencing double-digit population growth among our residents and tourists,” Manendo said. “We need to start preparing for this growth and addressing future mobility challenges.”

The governor’s office did not respond to email messages seeking comment.

RTC officials said they don’t have any immediate plans to place a sales tax measure on the ballot. The agency will apply for federal grants and explore additional strategies to pay for the transit line, RTC General Manager Tina Quigley said.

Funding model

The RTC is looking to model its funding plan after San Diego, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and other so-called “peer cities” that have built and currently operate light-rail systems through a mix of federal funds, fares and sales taxes.

Even though other municipalities have dipped into fuel taxes to pay for light-rail projects, the RTC is barred from doing so. Clark County’s fuel taxes, RTC officials said, are specifically designated for local road improvements.

Along with allowing for a sales tax ballot measure, SB 149 also allows the RTC, Clark County and Las Vegas city officials to go beyond offering traditional bus service and move toward “high-capacity transit” options, including light rail, streetcars and express bus commuter lines.

“The bills just signed into law will provide our community with the ability to develop a state-of-the-art and multifaceted transportation network of quality roads, enhanced transit options and emerging technologies that can keep people moving efficiently and safely,” Quigley said.

Later this summer, the RTC and the Federal Transit Administration will release environmental assessments that would allow for construction of either a light-rail line or bus rapid transit along Maryland Parkway, where more than 9,000 bus riders and 35,000 vehicles travel daily.

Proposed route

If funding is secured, construction could start by 2019 on a transit line traveling past UNLV, Sunrise Hospital and the Boulevard Mall along Maryland Parkway, cutting west on Carson Avenue through downtown Las Vegas.

From there, the route would head south on Casino Center, near the Golden Nugget hotel-casino, to the Bonneville Transit Center, where it would veer west to go past the county administrative center, Las Vegas North Premium Outlets and on to a terminus at the future site of UNLV’s School of Medicine, set to open by fall.

It would cost $573 million to $705 million to build a light-rail line that would use dedicated, street-level lanes running in both directions of the route, RTC officials said. A single 91-foot-long train would carry up to 140 passengers.

A lower-cost bus rapid transit line, estimated at $298 million to $367 million, would be equipped with 60-foot-long vehicles capable of holding 90 riders.

Ridership projections were not provided, but the RTC said operating and maintenance costs for both systems would range from $7 million to $12 million annually.

“As we work to strengthen and diversify our economy and create jobs for Nevadans, it is equally important to ensure that we are enhancing our transportation network and mobility options to accommodate increasing numbers of residents and tourists,” said state Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, who worked behind the scenes to pass Manendo’s bills.

Contact Art Marroquin at amarroquin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Find @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas firefighters put out blaze along Bonanza Road
Las Vegas firefighters put out a blaze that burned for about 15 minutes Feb. 20, 2018, along Bonanza Road, across from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Jeff Mosier/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cabana Market Shooting -- Persons of Interest
On February 3, 2018 at approximately 1:57 p.m., patrol officers were dispatched to a parking lot located in the 3900 block of East Owens Avenue to investigate a report that a man had been shot. Responding officers located an unresponsive adult male suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like