Friday, June 7, 2013

Can Transit be the Life of the Party in Los Angeles?

 By the end of this year, Los Angeles socialites and partygoers will have two new transit options to broaden their transportation and mobility horizons.

The Vegas X Train, expected to launch late 2013, will provide luxury rail service from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on the weekends. The Vegas X Train, dubbed the “party on rails”, is Las Vegas’ newest addition of attractions. Each of its rail cars will be outfitted with large, comfortable “first class” seating, WiFi, flat screen TV’s and a fully stocked lounge all for a starting ticket price of $99. The route restores passenger rail service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas that has been shut down for the last 13 years. Unlike standard regional transit, this train route will be 100% privately funded by the Las Vegas Railway Express, Incorporated (LVRE). LVRE recently signed a deal with Union Pacific Railroad to share their cargo rail lines and this agreement ensures that there will be no new rail lines constructed as a result of the business endeavor.

The announcement of the Vegas X Train is welcomed news for countless parties located in both California and Nevada. Currently, Interstate 15 is jammed with an average of 60,000 travelers per day. These numbers are expected to double to 120,000 in 2020. According to the Vegas X Train’s website, the service is expected to remove 4.5 million cars off of Interstate 15 every five years. The numbers not only impact road congestion and provide alternative mobility choices, the reduction in automobiles also effect the environment. With the removal of such staggering amounts of vehicles, the decrease in carbon dioxide equates to one billion pounds of the pollutant never entering our atmosphere.

With limited travel options between Los Angeles and Las Vegas the Vegas X Train has a promising future, serving an economical gap for travelers who would prefer an alternative transportation method to making the five-hour journey across the California desert to Sin City.

The proposed route of the X Train, as displayed in yellow and red. Source:

Back in Los Angeles, the transit party doesn't stop. The City of West Hollywood recently approved a nightly entertainment shuttle appropriately nicknamed the WeHo Party Bus. Slated to start serving Hollywood July 1, the WeHo Party Bus will be free for travelers who want to partake in the vibrant mix of eclectic bars, clubs and dining options along Santa Monica Boulevard’s famous strip on Friday and Saturday nights. The shuttle will run as part as a six-month pilot program to increase mobility options for Santa Monica Boulevard nightlife. City officials hope the shuttle will reduce nighttime congestion and collisions, as well as encourage safe modes of transportation while enjoying the city’s amenities.

The Vegas X Train and the WeHo Party Bus spotlight the new trend that transit is not just a tool for getting to work anymore. Not only are both transit options serving a useful purpose, they are also providing a fun and exciting experience for users that would normally be hesitant to hop on a bus. “Make it free and make it fun,” West Hollywood City Mayor John Duran said. “If we made it a party opportunity where you had the chance to meet someone as attractive on the bus as you would in a bar, it might work.” While some may argue that “party” transit is superfluous to the purpose of mobility, naysayers should consider the alternative approach both lines are taking to market transit as lively, hip and the place to be while you are getting there.  

Thanks to Josh Capps for the edits!

1 comment:

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