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Old October 31st, 2007, 09:48 PM   #121
BoulderGrad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tcmetro View Post
Las Vegas has one of the best 24 hour bus networks in the US, if not the world. The monorail should have been underground with direct connections to the hotels/casinos, or they should have built a standard Subway/Elevated Railroad. $5 is way to much, it should be $1.50-2, and casinos should give out free tokens with every $20 you spend at their casino. The BRT system should be used in more places, and adding more freeway bus routes would help the local residents. The Monorail should go to the Airport, and Downtown, too.
THere were talks of extending the line to the airport, but they dont really have much leverage to ask for such extensions since the monorail isn't attracting as many riders as they'd like.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 10:46 PM   #122
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I was there on New Years last year. I paid my $5 (ouch!) and was dead tired taking the thing back to my hotel. The doors shut, and then we sat for over 45 minutes. People were starting to freak out and I had to go to the bathroom. There was NO ONE that seemed to work for the Monorail, and no one ever came to help us. Someone in the train car finally kicked a window out so we could escape.

I noticed later that night when about 10,000 people were all trying to get on it that it had been shut down the entire day - and was going to be shut down the whole night. What a waste, hundreds of thousands of people on the strip that night, and it was shut down the whole time. I never did see a single person who seemed to be working for the thing.....

Needless to say I'll never step foot on it again, and I was excited when I first heard about it upon arriving in Vegas.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 10:48 PM   #123
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That's just one of the problems that you have with an automated system.
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Old November 1st, 2007, 01:34 AM   #124
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Luckily, I went to Las Vegas before the monorail was built, so I had the advantage of walking on the strip and taking in the sites.

However, is there a reason why planners didn't build the monorail in the middle of the strip? I'm not familiar with the plans or the reasonings behind the project, but I thought a monorail line running in the median along Las Vegas Blvd would be more profitable.
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Old November 1st, 2007, 06:21 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
That's just one of the problems that you have with an automated system.
That's true. I heard the automated system in Copenhagen has a Metro Steward in each train to help passengers etc. Great idea!
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 08:53 AM   #126
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Exactly... Vancouver's SkyTrain system doesn't have a staff member on each car... however... there are SkyTrain attendants and Transit police at all stations.

They make sure the train is clear before it is put out of service...

And Las Vegas's monorail should actually have more staff to support... I mean it's mostly tourists using the line anyways... this is just... I can't even describe it now =.="
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 08:36 PM   #127
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I don't see attendants at SkyTrain stations either (or at least don't recall seeing any). If an incident arises, wouldn't it take some time for transit police / workers to get to the problem site?
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Old November 10th, 2007, 06:02 AM   #128
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Vegas' Arrow Casino Bus

Vegas.com introduces high-tech bus service on the Las Vegas Strip
6 November 2007

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Move over, Deuce. There's a new bus in town.

After two years of driving tourists up and down the Las Vegas Strip for $2 each way, the regional transportation authority's double-decker Deuce bus is getting some new competition.

Vegas.com, the travel and booking Web site owned by the Greenspun Family of Companies, on Tuesday launched its "Arrow," a high-tech alternative that goes door-to-door to hotel-casinos on the Strip and downtown and costs $2.50 per ride.

The buses feature touch-screen monitors with GPS capabilities that allow passengers to buy show tickets and make restaurant reservations along the way. For $10, passengers can ride the bus and Las Vegas Monorail all day.

Vegas.com chief executive Howard Lefkowitz said the service, which runs morning to midnight, is expected to carry 2,000 to 5,000 tourists a day.

In comparison, the Deuce carried about 30,500 a day last year, while the monorail took about 24,500 a day in the third quarter.

"I don't think our expectations are unrealistic," Lefkowitz said. "There's plenty of room for all of us to peacefully coexist. You know, lions and zebras living together."

The company hopes to sell ad revenue, as well as plaster the Vegas.com logo across its bus fleet. Vegas.com claims to have 2.7 million visitors to its site every month and has about 500 employees.
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Old January 16th, 2008, 04:50 AM   #129
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Las Vegas Monorail taps into cash reserves for first time
10 January 2008

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The struggling Las Vegas Monorail Co. said it dipped into its cash reserves for the first time early this year to cover a scheduled bond payment.

The company had to pay more than $19 million in principal and interest due for bonds issued in 2000 to build the high-tech train that links several Las Vegas Strip hotels, according to a Wells Fargo bank document obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

More than $2.3 million had to be withdrawn to make up the difference, according to the paper.

"This was expected," Ingrid Reisman, vice president of corporate communications for the monorail, said in a statement. "Though it's the first time we've utilized our debt service reserve fund, the budget we prepared last year anticipated this."

Credit rating firm Fitch Ratings estimated in July that the monorail would begin tapping cash reserves, which it said would last at best through 2010.

Reisman said the monorail expected to secure new funding this year to pay for an extension to McCarran International Airport and to refinance its existing debt.

Chad Lewis, Fitch's director of global infrastructure and project finance, said news that the monorail had begun tapping its reserves was expected, but the cash burn rate would be monitored carefully.

"Obviously we're watching it very closely to see if that timetable would change," Lewis said Thursday.

Fitch estimated the monorail had about $69 million in reserves on hand, down from $89 million in 2006. It assigned a junk-bond, underlying rating of "CC" to the $451.4 million in first tier bonds, two notches above a default rating.

It does not rate the $197.7 million in second and third tier bonds.

Since opening to the public in July 2004, the $650 million, four-mile rail system on the east side of the Strip has failed to turn a profit.

Taxpayers are not liable, nor is any government entity obligated to take over the monorail or its debt should the company go bankrupt. The bonds are insured by AMBAC Assurance Corp. of New York, and a contingency fund exists to tear down the line if it closes.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:40 AM   #130
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monorails are ugly
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Old January 26th, 2008, 02:02 AM   #131
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well if they want it profitable they can't charge so much. I hate valeting my car every where I go, but I'm not gonna pay 5 bucks PER TRIP. Especially if I'm not going from one end to another.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 07:04 AM   #132
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I haven't returned to LV recently, I should, but I think it'd be more attractive if the monorail was extended to the NLV (residential areas) for people that work and live in that zone....
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Old January 29th, 2008, 02:35 AM   #133
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Quote:
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an underground monorail is possible. :P They have monorails going thru tunnels in some parts of the cities in the world.
Yeah, Chongqing monorail is underground for a number of stations
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:11 AM   #134
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trains in streets is rapid transit?

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Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
Last time I was in Las Vegas I saw no need to use the monorail. Why not put a light rail system right along the strip and dismantle this thing?
Perhaps because Vegas already is over quota on crushing pedestrians on the Strip. Plus I don't think they can spare three lanes for 'fright' rail. Personally, I use the monorail a LOT when I visit LV. $9 a day beats the heck out of cab costs.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 10:15 AM   #135
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A tack to lay down tracks
By Benjamin Spillman, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Sep. 10--Operators of the Las Vegas Monorail are looking forward to an extension to McCarran International Airport even as the rail system's debt rating points toward default.

In a presentation to a Southern Nevada tourism booster board, Las Vegas Monorail Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Curtis Myles said ridership is up to about 8.5 million people annually and the rail system generates more fare revenue than rail transit systems in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston.

Myles told board members of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority that a monorail extension from MGM Grand to the airport would make the system more convenient for visitors by ferrying as many as 8,000 riders per hour -- the equivalent of nearly 2,700 cab rides.

"This is one of the few places where you can fly in and see what you want to do," Myles said of how airline passengers en route to Las Vegas can see their hotel destinations from the plane. "What people don't realize is it is going to take an hour, an hour and a half, to get there. That is not great service."

But before the monorail gets an airport extension, it will need a credit extension to stay afloat. And that's unlikely to happen without an infusion of government money, debt analysts say.

That's because the monorail is already failing to meet the terms of some of its approximately $649 million debt load and could default on the bulk of its loans by the end of 2010.

If that happens, the system would fall into the hands of Ambac Assurance Corp., the company that insured $451.4 million in first-tier, tax-free monorail bonds, according to analysts at Fitch Ratings.

It creates an awkward situation for the Las Vegas tourism community.

On one hand there is little to no appetite among resorts or local governments to dump more money into a transit system that is headed toward default.

On the other hand, if the monorail were to grind to a halt it could create demand for more than 22,000 cab rides during major conventions in an area that is already congested. It would also leave an abandoned, elevated rail system east of the Strip between Tropicana and Sahara avenues and in front of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Resort operators and local government officials don't relish the prospect of shifting tens of thousands of monorail riders into buses, cabs and rental cars in an area already clogged with traffic.

"I certainly look forward to moving tourists around quicker so we can get their money out quicker," said convention authority board member Tom Collins, who is also a Clark County commissioner.

Myles, who didn't mention the monorail's financial state during his presentation, told the authority the company is working with Bombardier, which operates and maintains the system, and Goldman Sachs on a financing plan for the airport extension.

Construction of the extension would coincide with construction of a third terminal at McCarran, which is scheduled for completion in 2012. The extension would be both above and below ground. It would run along the south side of Tropicana, beneath the northern end of the McCarran airfield before turning south to the airport terminals.

Although the monorail can't continue long in its current state, there is evidence the system isn't a complete fiscal black hole.

Fare box revenue produces 129 percent of the cost to operate and maintain the system. That's the best return among 31 rail transit systems listed during the presentation.

That margin could appeal to investors, Fitch Ratings analyst Chad Lewis said.

"There is definitely some incentive to run this to the airport," Lewis said.

However, when debt service is included, the monorail only earns about 60 percent of what it needs to remain viable.

That's why Fitch tagged the $451.4 million in first-tier monorail debt with a "CC" rating, meaning, "default of some kind appears probable."

The monorail company is still servicing $149.2 million in second-tier debt, but just barely, Lewis said. And investors in $48.5 million in third-tier debt, a group mostly made up of Las Vegas resorts, have probably given up on getting a return, Lewis added.

Private investors aren't likely to put money in the system as long as the current debt cloud lingers.

"It does produce a net positive cash flow, so clearly there is some money," Lewis said. "But the debt is high."
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 01:22 PM   #136
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8.5m annually? That's terrible...
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 06:49 PM   #137
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Light-rail could work very well in Las Vegas. THe monorail doesn't work well because it is not subsidized enough, meaning that ticket fares are way too high, and it doesn't have the breadth of coverage to attract a lot of riders.

I say tear down the entire monorail and build a new one going from McCarran Airport all the way DT to Fremont Street along Las Vegas Blvd.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 07:30 PM   #138
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The monorail should be extended both to the airport and downtown, with a connecting monorail going down the west-side of the strip from Stratosphere to Mandeley Bay. Deuce doesn't handle the amount of trafic for this route, and there are two short stumbles of monorail there already...
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 11:22 PM   #139
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It is a terrible system. I don't understand what kind of system has NO ONE working in any of the stations? I know it's automated, but what if something went wrong? When I got stuck at a station on the monorail in Vegas we were at the end of the line. You would have thought someone would be at a station if it's the last one on the route.

I've never been anywhere before where the only solution to being stuck on a defaulting transit system is for everyone in all the cars to break through the glass of the emergency releases and force the doors open on each car.

Even with the broken glass and alarms, I hung around for mabye 10 minutes to get my $5 back out of sheer anger, but no one ever showed up except hundreds of confused and angry tourists. This was over an hour after the initial problem became apparant.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 11:16 PM   #140
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Heh heh

When Vancouver's automation of its LRT network would break down, it would take no less than one pair of trembling operators per train there to drive the units no faster than 15KPH for several hours on end, come two hours into the automation failure.....this used to really .... me off, coz what passenger wants his train driven by some pair of Canadianised Laurel and Hardy who've both clearly forgotten how to, all while overhearing cocked-up dispatches over walkie-talkies substituting for track signalling, right?
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