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Clearly, the existing infrastructure is not adequate.
Las Vegas (KSNV) -- Julie Coppin and her dog Betty know all about the weekend trip."I hate driving on this road," Coppin told me, as she was escorting Betty, a rambunctious and vocal 3-year-old pooch, around a gas station south of Las Vegas. Ask her about I-15, "I've been stuck on that thing for 8 hours," she says, recounting past trips.She and the thousands of other Californians on I-15 all have their own horror stories, especially the trip back.Jeff 5pm"It's horrifying. It's horrifying. So not a good experience. You just want to get home. So getting on the train would be great," Coppin said at the prospect of an easier trip.The train that could do it is the high-speed rail line Brightline, which already has a line running in Florida. The California-Nevada line, called Brightline West, has already made some progress.This summer, it bought land south of the Strip for a station.RELATED | Tourism officials say California, Nevada border traffic jams need to be addressedThis week, Brightline signed a memorandum of understanding with California transportation officials to use 48 miles on I-15 between Victorville and Rancho Cucamonga for a high-speed line. The "MOU" sets in motion work on right-of-way agreements and designing to make the extension happen.Until now, Victorville was as far as proposed high-speed lines went. Brightline's California agreement would take the high-speed link into the LA region.At Rancho Cucamonga, the line is planned to hook up with Metrolink, the commuter rail line in LA. Brightline says this will offer "seamless and straightforward" access in the region, offering a travel time between LA and Las Vegas of three hours and two hours between Rancho Cucamonga and Southern Nevada.Brightline officials were not available for comment Friday. No timetable has been announced for construction to begin.This is the latest step the rail line has taken to get the project moving. It is also working on financing the high-speed rail system, something that the pandemic had postponed.Last week, officials at the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said they're now asking Washington to put I-15 traffic on the radar, worried interstate traffic backups could keep our customers away.Brightline's proposed Las Vegas station is in commissioner Michael Naft's District."We need to be looking at multimodal transportation options. Just adding a lane of pavement isn't gonna solve all the problems. It's gonna help; it's gonna help move freight. It's gonna help move people. But we need high-speed rail to Southern California," Naft told me last week.
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