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Las Vegas Monorail Finally Ready To Open 469

Posted by simoniker
from the whizzing-happily-along dept.
doormat writes "The Las Vegas monorail is finally set to open to the public on July 15th! The project has had some problems - it was originally scheduled to open in March. The first part of the monorail, which uses Bombardier M-VI train vehicles, 'a derivative of the famous Walt Disney World Mark VI trains', is 4 miles long and connects several casinos on the east side of the Las Vegas Strip (see map, QT video), as well as the Las Vegas Convention Center (Home to CES, NAB, Networld+Interop and what was Comdex). Future phases seek to expand the monorail to downtown to the North, the west side of the strip, and eventually the University and the airport (which the taxicab and limo groups fight tooth and nail). I swear it's the strip's only choice... throw up your hands and raise your voice! Monorail, Monorail, Monorail! Mono... D'oh!"
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Las Vegas Monorail Finally Ready To Open

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  • I wonder if they broke into song and dance at the annoucment of its construction
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They just better have a damn good conductor.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:33AM (#9578503)
    Wow, could it cost a little bit more? $3 a ride! $40 for 3 days? No week pass? Mono d'oh indeed.
    • by Hans Lehmann (571625) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:47AM (#9578570)
      Wow, could it cost a little bit more? $3 a ride! $40 for 3 days? No week pass?

      It's clearly marketed to the weekend tourists, rather than the local commuters. Tourists, many of whom fly in for the weekend, like to travel around town (no point in giving all your money to one casino when there are so many needy casino's in town). Now you've got a choice of a quick $3 monorail ride, a $8 cab fare through grid-locked streets, or hoofing it in the 100+ degree sun. It's a no-brainer.
      Once they do get it to the airport (around 2007 or so), it'll be the best thing to hit Vegas since the machine-gun shooting range.

      • by el-spectre (668104) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @01:40AM (#9578769) Journal
        There are a couple of these ranges. One is at the end of the strip (I forget which end) and is run by really safety conscious folks. I learned to fire a MP5 there.

        There's another one, its more of a gun store, and it's in N. Las Vegas. The folks there are a bit, ah... conspiracy fan-ish, but they've got some good gear.
      • by irving47 (73147) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @02:10AM (#9578840) Homepage
        Amen to the cab part, but you're forgetting about the bus! $2 per trip or $5 for a 24 hour period. And the traffic will get out of the way of the bus.

      • by DrXym (126579)
        And it's not even an $8 cab ride. To get from somewhere like Excalibur to Downtown costs at least $20 + tip and from one end of the strip to the other is something like $10 + tip. A monorail would be very useful, especially when it runs the entire length.

        Of course there are two extremely unfashionable modes of transport that would also get you from one end of the strip to the other. The first is your legs, although in Vegas that might be a non-starter. I'm not exagerating when I say I have never seen so m

    • Not that uncommon (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gotr00t (563828) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @01:18AM (#9578687) Journal
      The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system in the SF/Bay Area costs just about the same to use, the only difference is that its not a flat rate, but rather, a calculated fare from station to station, averaging around $3 a ride, one way. The discounts if bought in bulk are minimal (only $4 savings when $60 worth of fare is bought), and I don't think there is an "all day pass" or anything of that sort.

      I think it goes to show that when you think of this kind of rapid transit system, don't think "bus fare," which is usually cheaper. It may also be because these systems are not subsidized by local or state authorities, forcing them to charge higher fare. (though I'm not sure if this is true in either of these cases)

      • Re:Not that uncommon (Score:3, Informative)

        by localman (111171)
        Yes, when I lived in the SF Bay Area I paid $3.80 each way per day to ride the BART to and from work. But the BART carried me 35 miles in 45 minutes. During rush hour that is quite a feat.

        Cheers.
      • Re:Not that uncommon (Score:3, Informative)

        by mcrbids (148650)
        About 10-15 years ago, I lived for a summer in San Fransisco. I bought a "muni-pass" which gave me unlimited BART and SF/Metro for ~ $20/month anywhere in SF.(I was a minor at the time - 17 Y.O.)

        This was for the buses trolleys, and BART trains.

        I remember the adult version costing somewhere around $80-$100, and provided unlimited BART in the greater Bay Area.

        Aren't these still available?
  • I hope (Score:2, Funny)

    by odano (735445) *
    I hope they use a little more discression in hiring the operator than the springfield monorail.
    • No operators. System is 100% computer controlled.
    • Oblig. (Score:5, Funny)

      by G-funk (22712) <josh@gfunk007.com> on Thursday July 01, 2004 @01:09AM (#9578658) Homepage Journal
      Since this was on last night, here of course is the song!

      Lyle Lanley: Well, sir, there's nothing on earth Like a genuine, Bona fide, Electrified, Six-car Monorail! ... What'd I say?

      Ned Flanders: Monorail!

      Lyle Lanley: What's it called?

      Patty+Selma: Monorail!

      Lyle Lanley: That's right! Monorail!

      [crowd chants `Monorail' softly and rhythmically]

      Miss Hoover: I hear those things are awfully loud...

      Lyle Lanley: It glides as softly as a cloud.

      Apu: Is there a chance the track could bend?

      Lyle Lanley: Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

      Barney: What about us brain-dead slobs?

      Lyle Lanley: You'll all be given cushy jobs.

      Abe: Were you sent here by the devil?

      Lyle Lanley: No, good sir, I'm on the level.

      Wiggum: The ring came off my pudding can.

      Lyle Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man.

      I swear it's Springfield's only choice...

      Throw up your hands and raise your voice!

      All: [singing] Monorail!

      Lyle Lanley: What's it called?

      All: Monorail!

      Lyle Lanley: Once again...

      All: Monorail!

      Marge: But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...

      Bart: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!

      All: [singing] Monorail! Monorail! Monorail! [big finish] Monorail!

      Homer: Mono... D'oh!
  • The first part of the monorail, which uses Bombardier M-VI train vehicles, 'a derivative of the famous Walt Disney World Mark VI trains', is 4 miles long


    I had to do a double-take when I read this the first time. I thought it said the train itself was 4 miles long...
  • by spacerodent (790183) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:35AM (#9578509)
    I've always wondered why the US hasn't built up their mass transit abilities on the national level. We have subways in various towns but none of them link together and we don't have any of the long rail lines like they do in Germany or Japan. I also feel safe in saying the rail road is pretty shitty in compairson to other countries. I wonder if this is because as Americans we demand the right and excuse to use cars or if we have no other option right now.
    • We tried to do that in Minnesota between St. Cloud and Minneapolis and the republican controlled state house shot it down.

      The midwest high speed rail stuff is farily cool too, but still a pipe dream.
    • WTF dude. I've lived in countries with excellent public transportation, and it still sucks. It's expensive; the train goes when it wants to, not when you want to; the other passengers on the train sometimes smell really bad; and trains stop running after a certain hour; and it takes a long time to get to where you're going. It used to take me an hour to go 5 miles by train. I could make the same trip in 10 minutes by car.

      Other countries also lack the outstanding Interstate Highway System.

      • by TheOnlyCoolTim (264997) <tim.bolbrock@ver ... net minus distro> on Thursday July 01, 2004 @01:29AM (#9578732)
        The trains stop running at night and you can outrun it in a car, but you think that's excellent public transportation?

        Visit NYC sometime. Trains 24/7 that are faster and cheaper than a car or taxi.

        Tim
      • Where was this? I went on vacation to London, and the subway system (sorry, tube) there was excellent: trains every few minutes, posted schedules so that you could plan on being on time for the less common trains (like to the airport), and certainly faster than 5 miles in an hour. Oh, and fairly cheap, too (not sure exactly, I had a month all-you-can-ride pass) If the city I live in had the same level of public transport, I would use it much more than my car.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:43AM (#9578551)
      Where cities are close together, the mass transit systems are integrated. One can take non-Amtrak trains from Philadelphia to New Haven, Connecticut. Baltimore and Washington are connected by MARC trains, and Oakland and San Francisco are connected by Bart and S.F. and San Jose are connected by CalTrain.
      And we do have some long lines, but as you say, they are pretty shitty. But those other countries are much more densely populated and smaller. In the Northeast Amtrak, the commuter railroads and subways make a pretty good approximation of what exists in Europe.
      • Yeah, I'd say Amtrak is pretty good here (Philly/NJ) and the other lines make up for where it lacks. NJ Transit goes into Philadelphia and into Manhattan (PATH train). DC and Boston are well connected, basically a train per hour going to either of those cities from Philadelphia. The only drawback is the price: $45 each way from Phila. to DC or Boston. It's about an hour and 45 minute ride, but you could never use it to commute on a daily basis.
    • by Mycroft_VIII (572950) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:44AM (#9578552) Journal
      It's simple. The US is phyiscally to big for this sort of thing to go nation wide. Now mind you they could do a couple or so on each coast. And just maybee somthing connecting a city or two in texas through Kansas city to St. Louis to Chicago, but even that may be stretching it.
      Look at it as if each US state where a single european country, then make a comparison.

      Mycroft
      • High-speed rail (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The full text of this article from The Economist [economist.com] follows. The original content is subscriber-only; it is reproduced here in the hope and expectation that you will find it useful.

        ----

        High-speed rail

        Trop peu, trop tard, trop Amtrak

        Aug 9th 2001 | CHICAGO
        From The Economist print edition

        Fast trains may be coming to the mid-west--and stopping too often

        THE roads are clogged. The airports are worse. Might fast trains provide relief for America's frustrated travellers? A coalition of nine mid

      • by tlainevool (793171) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @02:06AM (#9578830) Homepage
        "The US is phyiscally to big for this sort of thing to go nation wide."


        I don't thing so. Europe is 3,837,000 Sq. Miles and the US is 3,537,438 Sq. Miles. Europe has a good continent-wide train system. Its just the love of cars that keeps trains from not working in the US.
        • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @11:14AM (#9581625)
          " don't thing so. Europe is 3,837,000 Sq. Miles and the US is 3,537,438 Sq. Miles."

          That statement is misleading as it includes part of Russia.

          The European Union, for example, is about 1/3 the size of the continental US, and it has about 150 million more people (1.5 times as many).

          That's approximately 4.5 times more people per square-km as the US.

          Go to Wyoming some time and tell me that a nationwide mass-transit system is feasable. It's not.

          That said, we could do much better. Amtrak is a disaster, and we need more "short-haul" solutions. I can take the bus from my city (Fort Collins, ~100km north of Denver) to Denver, but there is no rail. There should be.

          Now, the truth is that it's simply more convenient to drive. Everyone goes ~130kph on the Interstate, and there is rarely any traffic north of Denver, so it only takes about 45 minutes to get to Denver. Compare that to a rail service which would have to be much faster to even compete (to compensate for the time spent getting to the station).
        • Europe is 3,837,000 Sq. Miles and the US is 3,537,438 Sq. Miles.

          Europe is also fairly populated throughout, meaning that complete coverage is cost-efficient. The US has areas of moderate-to-heavy population surrounded by nothing but miles and miles and miles of farm fields.

          Who'd want to take a train to the middle of North Dakota?
      • Yeah [eurostar.com], what [thalys.com] ever [raileurope.com]. Does this mean Europe is more united than the Uncooperative States of America?
      • by k8to (9046) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @06:17AM (#9579785) Homepage
        This _sounds_ good on the face of it, but history says otherwise.

        In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the US had far and away the largest amount of public transit, larger than any country in europe. In the 19-teens more miles of streetcar track existed in the United States than in the entire rest of the world combined. Inter-city rail was commonly used, and relatively affordable and dependable as compared to many of the nations we currently associate with rail such as Germany or France.

        It's hard to identify true root causes, but certainly between the 1920s and the 1950s, american culture and spending patterns had fallen so heavily into the pattern of the automobile, that much of this was lost. Some might point to the american habit of so strongly valuing the new (cf. electricity, plumbing, etc.), while others might talk about our devaluing of the collectivist, thus valuing individual transportation. Still another point of consideration is the ugly side of capitalism, when private industry and infrustructure can sometimes poorly interact. Recent examples include Enron and the California power disaster, historically one can look to rail companies and their self destructive rail non-maintenance habits.

        In any event, public transit thrived despite our lack of physical density for a good 60 years, and then died. Perhaps the point could be made that it could no longer successfully compete against private transit in our relatively non-dense environment, but even the bostonwash DC corridor has very poor transit now as compared to history and yet remains rather dense.

        The problem is a good deal more complex than you suggest.
    • It's because we think that if the US subsidizes railroads, it's communism, but when the US subsidizes inefficient automobile and air travel, it's the free market.

      Why is that? Brilliant marketing and lobbying over decades by the auto and airline industries.
    • by Jodka (520060) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @02:31AM (#9578919)
      "I've always wondered why the US hasn't built up their mass transit abilities on the national level."

      That's the wrong question. You should be asking why we lost the one that we had. At the beginning of the century you could travel to almost anywhere you wanted to go in the US by rail. Little villages all across countryside had passenger rail service, most with multiple stops a day.
      • by bwy (726112) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @07:51AM (#9580041)
        Probably because most people only get 2 weeks vacation and you can fly between any 2 points in the US for $200 or under if you are a smart fare shopper. Back at the turn of the century wasting time on a train was the only way to get anywhere. I'll happily take my 6 hour plane ride from FL to CA, thanks.
    • I've always wondered why the US hasn't built up their mass transit abilities on the national level.

      I'm an American currently stationed in Germany and I used to wonder the same thing myself before I got over here. Here's why it won't work the same.

      Over here in Europe the populations are clumped together a lot more than in the states. In Germany all the villages are pretty tightly packed. You don't have big yards, many people live in small houses that are right up against the next house or at most has a

    • by Secrity (742221) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @06:56AM (#9579881)
      Another problem is that to get to mass transit stations, most people have to travel some number of miles from their home. Most inter-city train stations are in the center of a city and parking is impossible or VERY expensive. In some cities this is not a problem for local trains because the systems' designers provided for ample suburban station parking and the local administrators see free parking as an incentive for people to use mass transit. In other cities, such as with the Washington, DC METRO system, the inadequately sized METRO parking lots fill up early in the day and the administrators charge for parking to subsidise rail operations. For more information about Washington DC METRO fair and parking increases and anticipated reduction in usage, see today's article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A193 08-2004Jun30.html
  • by dieman (4814) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:35AM (#9578510) Homepage
    We also got our first light rail line in Minnesota, the Hiawatha Line [metrocouncil.org]. Also driven with Bombardier trains of an original design.

    I took some pictures of the opening here [ringworld.org].

    96,000 people tried out the line last weekend during its debut!
    • You do realize you just linked to 80+ pictures in an early post in a front page slashdot story don't you.
      Well I guess that's one way to test a systems load handling capacity, and as a bonus your smoke detectors.

      Mycroft
    • In the image in the 2nd column, 10th row (image 56, file dscn2466.jpg), what is that "third rail" that's on the right and curves near the end used for? Our local light-rail here in the Santa Clara valley also has those at various points.
    • I'll add a review (Score:3, Interesting)

      by snooo53 (663796) *
      First let me start of by saying, I love the idea of public transportation, and that this was a great *idea* Unfortunately this light rail line is wrought with major problems in its implementation.

      -First of all, the tracks are laid right into the street. Not only has it been causing massive traffic congestion but often times the train itself has to wait for traffic lights! They should have elevated it or buried it.

      -Stations: There are WAY too many stations. Obviously there was some lobbying going on b
  • CSI (Score:5, Funny)

    by mrpuffypants (444598) * <mrpuffypants@@@gmail...com> on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:36AM (#9578514)
    Until some guys gets run over by the Monorail in CSI I'm not even going to acknowledge it.
  • University (Score:4, Funny)

    by Fooby (10436) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:38AM (#9578525)
    There's a university in Las Vegas? And I thought UPenn was a party school...
    • Yes, all those strippers that strip at night and go to school during the day. When its 100 degrees (F) in May and all the girls wear skimpy clothing, you realize its nice to live in a desert.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:47AM (#9578567)
    It's interesting that the taxi cab and limousine services are fighting the monorail tooth and nail.


    When I went to Florida, I had to catch a plane from Orlando airport, so I caught a bus to 'airport boulevard' - having been told it was near the airport. It was in the middle of nowhere and there was no chance of hailing a cab (even if as a poor student, I could have afforded one), so I walked for 90 minutes in the midday sun until I got to my flight - with 15 minutes to spare.


    I had been told I was on the right bus, but there didn't seem to be a bus stop in the entire airport. I was completely incredulous. Is this the reason why?


    So much for the free market and consumer choice.

    • by mandalayx (674042) * on Thursday July 01, 2004 @02:38AM (#9578939) Journal
      The last line of your sentence, "So much for the free market and consumer choice" has no relevance to what you said at all.

      If you had planned your route in advance, carefully, instead of just winging it, you might have taken the right bus. For example, I can drive to "University Ave" and be miles away from the actual University.

      The cabs aren't there because, as you say, you were in the "middle of nowhere". If this were a cab driver forum, you'd find no sympathy. Plus, if you happened upon a pay phone or thought ahead to bring a cell phone while traveling, you could call a taxi dispatcher. Or lacking a phone number for taxi dispatch, called local directory service (hint: 411 isn't just asking for girls' numbers) and a taxi would come.

      In fact, it seems like your case is an excellent example of consumer choice--except you made some pretty naive choices. But since you were a tourist, I suppose it's excusable. Just plan ahead when you travel next time...you're a student, so you should be good at researching these kinds of things!
  • by swagr (244747) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:48AM (#9578571) Homepage
    that this monorail will take you directly from the center of a casino, to the center of many other casinos, via routes that pass through casinos.
    In order to get to any of the stations, you'll need to walk through 3 miles of casinos. In order to buy tickets, you'll need to walk through 4 miles of casinos. If you're drunk and gambling, tickets are free.
  • Useless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:48AM (#9578573) Homepage
    Like most public transportation projects I've been on, this one is pretty useless. You can't go from the airport to the hotel...what's the point? The system is similarly useless to anyone who actually *lives* in Vegas. Los Angeles authorities thought it would be a good idea to build some trains...they don't go anywhere that you'd ever want to go. It doesn't connect to the airport because the taxicab union lobbied against it. The Houston rail "system" is similarly pointless. Atlanta's isn't bad, mostly because union opposition was overcome and it actually connects to the airport.
    • You ever been to vegas? Doesn't seem like you have. If you been there, you would know there is usually 30 minute wait for taxis after 7pm. You also know the strip is very congested and impossible to drive anywhere. Most people take taxis from casino to casino. If you been there you'd also know getting to the convention center is the pain in the ass from farther out casino's like mgm, mandlay. Once this project is done, it will link downtown to strip. I personally like staying on strip because of the n
    • by Trunks (35615) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @01:31AM (#9578738)
      Have you ever tried walking from one end of the strip to the other in the middle of summer? It takes forever to get anywhere by car or taxi, and the walk is WAY too long (especially when it's hot as hell outside).

      Yeah, it doesn't get to the airport yet and has yet to cover the entire strip, but it's a start and will be a boon to many who regularly visit Vegas.
  • by lortho (700090) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @12:55AM (#9578602)
    The obligatory Simpsons reference/joke made in the the actual story, before the first comment is even posted? Thought I'd never see the day... ;)
  • Sheesh. (Score:2, Funny)

    by c0dedude (587568)
    Finally, something to put Las Vegas on the maps! :-)
  • Semi offtopic, but I just wanted to point out how cool it was that San Francisco has been buying up old classic trains from the early 20th century, refurbishing them, and actually have a great many of these near-antiques actually in service.

    I've seen some really cool classic cars from Italy, Germany, and a great old one from the Chicago 'el' train.

    Very cool. Great history and better for the environment! Get rid of that awful SUV today!

    It's reminding me of my old train set in my parent's basement. Ooh, mu
  • by evacuate_the_bull (517290) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @01:06AM (#9578648)
    Just like Kim Pedersen. Wired did a nice story on him a few months ago [wired.com] and now he's started the Monorail Society. [monorails.org]

    Cool!
  • This is perhaps one of the biggest positive aspects. A two-ride pass is less than $6, about the cab fare to go from, say, Caesars to the LVCC. I really see it as a tool for conventioneers. The only downside is that it goes right by the Sands Convention Center, but doesnt stop there.
  • by character_assassin (773327) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @01:32AM (#9578742)
    ... it terminates at the Las Vegas Hilton, better known to Slashdotters as the home of the Star Trek Experience. Don't forget to visit Quark's Bar, where you can order - shudder - "The Wrap Of Khan."
  • Several Responses (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aidtopia (667351) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @01:34AM (#9578751) Homepage Journal

    Responses to several comments here:

    Monorail "track" is a lot more expensive to build per foot than light rail. That's the main reason Disney hasn't built any new monorail for a while, even when they moved all the parking a couple blocks away from the Anaheim park entrance.

    There's no good way to evacuate an elevated monorail train in an emergency. Somewhere on the net I've read a copy of the procedures for the WDW monorail, which involves helping passengers slide down the curved windshield so they can walk along the beam to the nearest station. Yeah, right.

    Say all you want about the lightrail system Los Angeles built. Fact is, it's far more popular than ever anticipated. Yeah, it goes through some pretty scary neighborhoods. But the point is to make it possible for people who live there to get into downtown where the jobs are. It's worked pretty well. And the Metrolink extensions do take some of the commuter burden off the Orange County to LA freeways.

    • Re:Several Responses (Score:3, Informative)

      by faedle (114018)
      Woah, buddy.

      First off, Disneyland's choice regarding the Disneyland Monorail had nothing to do with cost, or efficiency. It has more to do with Disney's internal pricing policies regarding the two Anaheim parks than anything else. We are actually now hearing that there WILL be extensions to the Disneyland Monorail at some point in the future, but not to the parking structure.. likely to a theoretical "third" park that is still in development.

      Secondly, please provide some proof to the claim that Monorail
    • Re:Several Responses (Score:3, Informative)

      by green pizza (159161)
      Monorail "track" is a lot more expensive to build per foot than light rail. That's the main reason Disney hasn't built any new monorail for a while

      In the case of Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, Disney hasn't built any new track as there's nowhere else to extend the scenic monorail line. MGM Studios, Wild Animal Kingdom, and Blizzard Beach are located adjacent to the two main attractions (the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT), hidden from view only by some trees. The monorail ride to one of these newer attraction
  • "In 2004 the Las Vegas Strip corridor will see the opening of the first totally automated M-VI monorail system."

    I sure don't want to be there when somebody gets caught in the crack between the train and the platform . . .

  • Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheOnlyCoolTim (264997) <tim.bolbrock@ver ... net minus distro> on Thursday July 01, 2004 @01:40AM (#9578767)
    Does anyone know if a monorail actually has any advantages over regular two rail operation and under what situations?

    Tim
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

      by RollingThunder (88952)
      Day to day operation is generally much quieter. With rubber on concrete, rather than steel on steel, the ride is quiet(er) and smooth(er).
      • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Peter McC (24534)
        This is not unique to monorails. For instance, the Montreal subway system uses rubber tires on concrete paths, but it's otherwise identical to a standard subway system (they still have the standard track and wheels on the cars as a backup in case of flat tires). The ride is certainly quieter than metal-on-metal, especially around the corners, but it can be fairly bouncy.
      • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

        by vrt3 (62368)
        Lots of subway systems use rubber tires. The Paris subway, for example, switched from steel wheels to rubber tires exactly for that reason.
    • Re:Why? (Score:3, Informative)

      by roothog (635998)

      Monorail beamway has a significantly smaller footprint and blocks less sky than traditional elevated two-rail guideway. See pages 14/15 and 38/39 of this PDF [monorails.org] for some pictures. Sorry, a quick google search did not return any web pages with pics.

      If you compare it with at-grade two-rail, then the advantage is that an elevated monorail has no road crossings. Of course, this is true of any elevated transit system.

      Note that the small beam makes monorail evacuations more difficult than elevated light-rail ev

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 01, 2004 @01:41AM (#9578773)
    I dunno, seems like more of Shelbyville idea to me.
  • by nekdut (74793) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @04:44AM (#9579507) Journal
    I am a frequent visitor of Vegas and I doubt I will EVER use the new monorail. First of all, the construction of this monorail closed a number of FREE trams/rails that I often used. There was an excellent free rail between the MGM and Ballys, as well as the Monte Carlo -> Bellagio tram. Both closed down for this construction. Now going from MGM to Ballys will cost $$ and the Monte Carlo Bellagio tram still remains closed! It's on the other side of the street for god sakes. There was no reason to close this excellent free service.

    Second, the cost. I usually go with a group of friends, and if the 5 of us split a cab, it always cost $10 or less total, AND takes us door to door instead of only a few stations WAY at the back of the casinos. This is also 24 hrs a day. The monorail closes at midnight!! Who the hell heads back to their room at midnight in vegas?!

    The only advantage the monorail has is a direct route to the convention center. Large conventions could make good use of this, but otherwise, I'd suggest tourists stay away.
  • by dabug911 (714069) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @05:09AM (#9579607) Homepage
    The main purpose of this monorail is to create easier travel between the LVCA (convention center) and the strip. The conventnion center is a good distance away from the strip if you walk, this will make staying on the strip and traveling to the LVCA much easier. Plus most travelers will be business and be paying with business account more then likely. Others will be people who just need a quick way to get around. I'm sure day passes will eventually be released for this system. But its not always easy to get around between areas in vegas, even if it doesn't seem that far. While this is useless for locals its perfect for travelers who want to see different areas of vegas. Once this reachs out to Downtown this will provide much more bsuiness for that area that is hard to reach right now and that most people dont' want to pay the extra money to go and visit. sinc down town is a few miles away from the strip and is renovating also to become popular again this is a great thing for the las vegas economy.

    But for the most part vegas gets most of its income now adays from CONVENTION TRAVELERS. Which means that making it easier to get back and fourth to the convention center is always a plus. The stations they have built for this system are really nice and will also help the business traveller
  • by foniksonik (573572) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @07:06AM (#9579909) Homepage Journal
    Fuck the taxis... the limos.... bring on mass transit...What's the Problem? Oh no you have competition? Let people make their own decision about how they can best get to their destination.

    Mass Transit cannot and will not solve all transportation problems. On the other hand it will allow visitors and locals to have a choice of transportation.

    Again if your business can't survive a tech revolution... your business is not fit to survive..... simple as that.
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday July 01, 2004 @10:15AM (#9581006) Homepage
    airport (which the taxicab and limo groups fight tooth and nail)

    You know, this would be a lot more palatable if the taxi and limo services provided remotely acceptable service. When I'm landing in Vegas I don't give a crap about the $10 - $20 for the cab fare - what I hate is standing in a line of 3,000 people for 45 minutes waiting for a cab. In fact, if there were a line for the cheap monorail and little or no line for the cabs, I would still gladly take the cabs - I'm on my way to meet friends from other cities and I already know I'm going to lose money.

    Everyone arrives in Vegas on Friday at 7 PM. The Vegas taxi queue is an impressive one, with 20 or 30 stands, but it's still entirely inadequate. When moving large volumes of people from one fixed point to another fixed point (airport/strip), it's worthwhile looking into systems designed to transit people in mass numbers.

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