Today’s Solutions: June 26, 2022

Understandably, there’s a particularly high commuter rate going from Southern California to Las Vegas. While people come from all over the world to party in Las Vegas, those coming from So-Cal have regular flights and even create notable traffic jams on their way, creating an unnecessary amount of carbon emissions. 

A company called Brightline Holdings wants to alleviate this problem by making a direct So-Cal-to-Las-Vegas, high-speed train. 

Saving time, money, and carbon emissions 

Brightline currently has one intercity high-speed train running between Miami and West Palm Beach. They believe they are perfectly suited to build another one running from Rancho Cucamonga in Southern California to Las Vegas. They hope to do this with federal support and financial backing from the infrastructure law passed in November. It is estimated that because of the 12 times less energy per passenger-kilometer for train travel than cars, the new line could prevent the emission of over 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide. 

Brightline’s proposed route would be ideally placed to take drivers off of the I-15 to Las Vegas. It’s short enough to make the train trip more convenient than driving or flying from LA, and it wouldn’t need to buy any land because it would run parallel to I-15 on public land. 

The trip would take about three hours, a much better deal than the hours and hours of traffic some commuters get stuck in. Passengers would also pay competitive fares — possibly as low as $60 one way — in a means of transport much preferable to flying or driving, with drink and food service and Wi-Fi. 

“Potentially, the market is absolutely there, because I think that people would much prefer to train over flying and over driving,” Eric Maryanov, chief executive of travel consultancy All-Travel says. “It just boils down to how simple they make the process and how reasonably priced compared to the other options.” 

Brightline projects that if it does things right it could take up 22 percent of the drivers and flyers going to Las Vegas. 

Certain environmental groups urge Brightline and governmental agencies to build animal crossings at key points on the rail, as it would cut through the Mojave Desert and many animals’ habitats.

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