Las Vegas Monorail Expanding to Airport

The Las Vegas Monorail Company is set to expand service to McCarran International Airport early in 2011, a development that should shorten travel times to the Las Vegas Strip and alleviate traffic congestion. Rendering of the monorail airport connection

Approximately 70 percent of an estimated 44 million incoming passengers each year clog McCarran International, hailing taxis or waiting in line for a rental car. Increasing congestion on the roadways leading down onto the Las Vegas Strip has made transportation challenging for visitors.

An onslaught of new hotel construction doesn't help either. Without suitable and viable public transportation to and from the airport, The Strip could turn into one long, continual traffic jam. According to Curtis Myles, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Monorail Company, the city has plans for more than 40,000 new hotel rooms in the next few years, and expects an increase in visitor volume. "Extending the monorail to the airport will provide a fast, convenient and reliable transportation option for visitors from the time they arrive in Las Vegas to the time they leave," he says.

However, some are against the planned expansion, namely taxi drivers and limousine services who depend on airport business.

The expansion plans to the airport include five proposed stations with two stops at McCarran—the first at Terminal 1 and a second at the soon-to-be-built Terminal 3. The extension will be 4.2 miles long, which is slightly longer than the existing stretch that runs between the MGM Grand and the Sahara hotels.