By Manny Otiko, IVN
Many Californians spend their weekends vacationing in Las Vegas. And some of them get stuck in heavy traffic coming back. But that could be a thing of the past.
A new high-speed rail line plans to connect Southern California with Las Vegas. The new line will have a stop in Rancho Cucamonga. According to a Brightline press release, the train trip will be half the time of a road trip.
“The total trip time will be about half the time of driving: two hours between Las Vegas and the new Rancho Cucamonga station, and three hours between Las Vegas and Los Angeles,” according to a press release.
The electric train is the brainchild of Brightline and it’s getting plenty of local support. Brightline recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
“The MOU sets the framework regarding the use of 48 miles within Interstate 15 to be used for Brightline West to connect its planned Victor Valley station and a newly planned station in Rancho Cucamonga,” according to a Brightline press release. “The new station will provide connectivity to Metrolink’s system in Rancho Cucamonga, offering a seamless and straightforward access point for people traveling to and from Los Angeles. The total trip time will be about half the time of driving: two hours between Las Vegas and the new Rancho Cucamonga station, and three hours between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.”
“This system will provide an optimal travel solution between Southern California and Las Vegas and opens up the reality of emission-free, hospitality-focused high-speed rail service to millions of people traveling between these destinations every year,” said Mike Reininger, CEO of Brightline Holdings.
CalSTA Secretary David S. Kim said the new rail line will significantly reduce traffic congestion.
“This is an important step in bringing major benefits to the state, including reduced congestion and greenhouse gas emissions on the Interstate 15 corridor and increased connectivity with rail and transit throughout Southern California as well as future connections with the state’s high-speed rail system,” said Kim in a press release.
The project also brings jobs and economic development to the area. A Brightline press release predicted that the project will create 40,000 jobs and have an economic impact of $10 billion. The high-speed train will also help the environment. Brightline predicts it will reduce CO2 emissions by 400,000 tons per year.
“Along with planned underground loop service to Ontario International Airport, the upcoming Redlands Passenger Rail Service and the West Valley Connector bus rapid transit system, high-speed rail to and from Las Vegas is shaping up to be a game-changer for our region,” said Curt Hagman, chair of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and president of San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA.) “These projects will provide convenient connections to destinations throughout Southern California and beyond, and provide sustainable transit options for one of the fastest-growing population and economic centers in the country.”