Friday, Oct. 16, 2009 | 3 a.m.
Of all the air travel corridors in the United States that are less than 400 miles, only the route between Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area is busier than the one connecting Southern California to Las Vegas.
As reported last week by J. Patrick Coolican in the Las Vegas Sun, a sister publication of In Business Las Vegas, this finding from the Brookings Institution confirms that Las Vegas would be an ideal hub for a high-speed rail system. The public policy think tank, based in Washington, found that 3.7 million passengers flew between Las Vegas and Southern California in the one-year period that ended in March.
We hope that the Federal Railroad Administration takes notice of the study. As the federal agency charged with distributing $8 billion in economic stimulus money for the development of high-speed rail corridors, it should place a high priority on routes with a proven track record of high traffic volume. As Brookings found, the Las Vegas-Southern California corridor fits that profile.
As we said last week, Southern Nevadans should throw their support behind the American Maglev Group and its plan to build a 300 mph magnetic levitation train from Las Vegas to Anaheim, Calif. This proposal merited a significant portion of the stimulus money even before Brookings released its findings. That argument is now made easier because the maglev supporters can point to the heavy air traffic volume as justification for their project.
Sometimes it is not bad to rank second best in a survey. We think this is one of those times.