Let It Ride
In true gambler style, Las Vegas has upped the ante on us: In our April Fools’ edition, we joked that the city was going green by requiring energy-efficient lighting on its famous Strip. Now it seems that life imitates Grist, sort of: Although Las Vegas isn’t planning a mass purchase of compact fluorescent light bulbs, it is about to build the nation’s largest monorail system to boost public transportation and solve the city’s infamous traffic problems. The state-of-the-art elevated trains will reach speeds of 50 miles per hour and stop at the hottest spots along the Strip and elsewhere. (The trains will also be equipped with safety features specifically designed to prevent accidents among riders who’ve celebrated their winnings or mourned their losses with a few too many gin and tonics.) The $650 million-project is a sign of the nascent public transit revolution in the West — the fastest-growing region of the country — with other cities like Phoenix, Denver, and Seattle also planning rail projects.