High Speed Rail

Projections Rosy for High-Speed Train Linking Las Vegas, Victorville

As stated in an article in the Las Vegas Sun, August 7, 2017, XpressWest, owned by local developer Tony Marnell, continues to chip away at the vision of a train that would link Las Vegas and Victorville, and eventually run into Los Angeles County. Last month, Chief Operating Officer Andrew Mack provided an update to the Nevada High-Speed Rail Authority. Here are some of the key topics he covered: Published this year by the High Desert Corridor Joint Powers Authority, a ridership and revenue study by Steer Davies Gleave revealed that California residents accounted for 29 percent of the almost 43 million visitors to Las Vegas in 2016. And 90 percent of them drove. Although McCarran International Airport has seen an increase in the number of travelers accommodated each year, the study showed 75 percent of foreign travelers didn’t fly directly into Las Vegas. “They travel into Los Angeles and go on to Las Vegas,” Mack explained. “What this study shows is that the Las Vegas-to-Victorville project, in and of itself, has
the ridership and revenue necessary to support the project’s financing, including the capital and operating,” Mack said. According to the study, 26 million round-trips from Southern California to Las Vegas were made in 2015, and that’s expected to increase to 47 million by 2050 (the number includes air and road travel). The high-speed rail project could draw about 21 percent of the total travel market by 2024, adding 400,000 travelers who otherwise wouldn’t have made the trip. By 2050, it could draw 27 percent — 1.4 million travelers — and bring in $1.6 billion in revenue. Encouraging foreign investment in the U.S. is a way to gain funding, Mack said. A phased approach to buy-America requirements — that high-speed rail components be built domestically — is key. The initial line from Las Vegas to Victorville would run mostly adjacent to Interstate 15, with a roundtrip ticket costing less than $100.

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