Las Vegas needs more than just Charleston Boulevard light rail

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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The state of Nevada needs to invest more in light-rail transit, according to UNLV professor.

Mass transit along Charleston Boulevard and light rail on Maryland Parkway are a winning pair in Las Vegas.

That is what Prof. Robert Lang believes, and he recently told Nevada officials the Charleston Boulevard project will make traveling east to west in Las Vegas easier. However, Lang, who heads the Brookings Mountain West think tank and teaches at UNLV, says the Strip and Maryland Parkway, which is a major north-south arterial, cannot be ignored.

Lang wants a plan for light rail on Maryland Parkway to be revived so it could be funded under President Biden’s massive infrastructure plan. The professor believes the Charleston Boulevard line should connect to the Maryland Parkway.

Lang is working on updating an economic blueprint that he helped create about a decade ago during the Great Recession. The original plan included UNLV getting Tier 1 research status, Allegiant Stadium construction and the section of I-11 that connects to Las Vegas. The 2.0 version of the plan is expected to be released this fall.

Lang is not a fan of public-private partnerships to fund future transit projects. The Las Vegas monorail was a P3 and the hope was it would connect downtown Las Vegas with McCarran International Airport. The line, however, stops short of the airport. Lang says other cities have been able to fund projects with federal resources.

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