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XpressWest serves a “captive demand” for transportation in the Corridor linking approximately 22 million people living in Southern California with Las Vegas.1 Approximately 41 million visitors travelled to Las Vegas in 2014.2 Over 25% of all Las Vegas visitors travel from the Southern California region.3 As Las Vegas has grown into an international tourist and business / convention destination, demand for travel between Southern California and Las Vegas has substantially increased. Approximately 90% percent of visitors from Southern California drive on I-15,4 the only highway connecting Southern California with Las Vegas. Over the last decade, the trip on the I-15 has become a time-consuming, stressful, and congested travel experience.
In 2011 Southern California's adult population is estimated to be 15.7 million and in 2030 will grow to 19.5 million5 . The lack of alternative transportation to Las Vegas and the Southwest threatens the region’s economic stability and future growth. XpressWest will add service and capacity to enhance the national rail system by providing a modern, state of the art high speed rail service between two major population centers and visitation destinations where no service presently exists. As the first leg of what will ultimately become the Southwest high speed rail network, XpressWest will play a major role in introducing high speed rail transportation to the region and U.S. market.
In June, 2014, the Federal Railroad Administration released its Southwest Multi-State Rail Study. The study validates the need for XpressWest and the viability of high speed rail in the Southwest by recognizing the significant passenger volume and trips between Las Vegas and Greater Los Angeles and designates it as a “Core Express” service in the Southwest Mega Region. The study recognizes immense economic activity and value in connecting Southern California and Southern Nevada both now and in the future. The study identifies the top performing corridors in the network that show the strongest demand as stand-alone corridors and also enable significant increases in ridership on the other corridors in the network. The Southern California / Las Vegas corridor is identified as one of the Core Express corridors that form the backbone of the Southwest network.
2 Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Monthly and Year-to-date Visitor Statistics.
3 http://www.lvcva.com/press/statistics-facts/index.jsp. Southern California Visitor Report, pg. 1.
5 California Department of Finance