What's it called? Monorail!


           As I am sitting there stuck in traffic I start staring a hole through the Hawaiian license plate in front of me. While deeply immersed in my gazing, many thoughts start wandering through my head. "I'm an idiot for choosing this road," "What could possibly be going on up there?" or "I wonder what the exact process is for getting a car from the Hawaiian Islands to here?" All these ideas and questions are quieted when I decide to look up and discover the reason for my transportation troubles. Outside of the fact that when going down Spring Mountain, you will occasionally run smack dab into irritating convention center traffic, the road is also inhibited by the construction for the Las Vegas Monorail; the glorious future of inter-Strip casino travel.
          Well there's nothing on Earth like a genuine, bona fide, electrified, six car monorail! What'd I say? Monorail! What's it called? Monorail! That's right Monorail... many believe this current wonder is a conception of ultramodern man. Well sir you'd be wrong in believing such hogwash for the first monorail to exist was grand opened on June 25th 1825. Dubbed the Cheshunt Railway this first passenger carrying monorail was based on an 1821 patent by Henry Robinson Palmer. Following this birth of ingenuity were 9 distinct models that spanned the nations centennial onto the great depression. It wasn't until the 1950s when the design started mimicking what most of the population is used to thanks to Walt Disney and about 5 other monorails that sprung up. Now this convenience of the past two centuries is finally making its way into our backyard.
          Oh what, you haven't heard? No one told you? How could you not know? Have you been living under a rock for a couple years, or maybe (chuckle) "studying" too hard? Well, regardless for the reasons that you are apparently misinformed it is true the Strip is acquiring a monorail that will service almost the whole belt of all eastern casinos from the MGM Grand to the Sahara. It's a unique rapid transit project for a unique city. Due to the in-depth research which I have performed regarding this I have learned that the road to us acquiring this form of mass transportation has been a long and intricate one.
          The Monorail project actually started about a decade ago when MGM and Bally's decided to build one to travel tourists in between their properties. With the purchase and renovation of two old Walt Disney World Mark IV Monorail trains the system began operation in June of 1995 and has serviced five million passengers annually. With the success of this line many propositions were reviewed and declined until the year 2000 when the building of this privately owned transportation service was awarded by Clark County. Interestingly enough the Taxicab Authority and their loyal gang of Cab companies put the kibosh on an idea for the system to be located within the strip; because dang-it-all the right-of-way was dedicated for roadway purposes only and this elevated system unfortunately didn't meet those requirements.
          After all the hard work then began the arduous construction process that is expected to be completed in early 2004 with an ultramodern transit system linking seven stations over four miles to eight resorts and the Las Vegas Convention Center. Even this is apparently only the beginning since the RTC (Regional Transportation Commission) plans to add onto the soon-to-be existing monorail and bring it all the way downtown under their proposed "Las Vegas Resort Corridor Fixed Guideway" plan. This second system adjoining the first is expected to cost $440 million dollars and carry approximately 58,500 weekday boardings in 2020. There are even eventual aspirations to take the system into the McCarran Airport as well.
          So why should YOU the viewer at home care about the largest monorail system to be developed since 1971? What benefit could this 600 million dollar project funded by tax free bonds possibly do for me? What's it all about, Mr. and Mrs. John Q Smith from Anytown, USA? Well sir... officials estimate that the monorail will lighten the load of traffic along our Las Vegas Strip by approximately 4.4 million trips annually, and the age old game of staring at the car in front of you until you begin to snap will become much less of an occurrence. This obviously will then prevent 135 tons of carbon monoxide emissions in the first year alone, and that pretty brown haze you can see sometime hanging out in the middle of town that we've all grown accustomed to will unfortunately start to fade away.
          Even though it is a horribly huge pain in the ass to be subjected to transportational turmoil on the basis, in the future things will become brighter, making this a very essential evil that we will just have to cope with. Just try and take comfort in the knowledge that the cause of your burden will soon be the bringer of potential roadway bliss. I swear its Vegas's only choice throw up your hands and raise your voice, monorail... What's it called? Monorail... once again! MONORAIL!