Tunica examines monorail option - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Tunica examines monorail option

Passengers landing here at Memphis International Airport could board a train to Tunica if Mississippi legislators decide to study whether a monorail would be worth the cost to build.

In the first two months of this year more than fifty 737s will land at the Tunica Airport. Once visitors are on the ground...

They might one day board a monorail like this one to get to their destination.

"And if it will enhance our visitors' experience while they're in the market the better off we're going to be for it," said Webster Franklin of the Tunica County CVB.

A monorail bill now working its way through the Mississippi legislature calls for a study to determine whether a light rail system could benefit Tunica and Desoto Counties and perhaps even Memphis.

"There's interest in doing a feasibility study for monorail both on the gulf coast as a part of the rebuilding effort and in Tunica Desoto and we hope even to the Memphis airport," said Senator John Mayo.

There's no official blueprint for the path it would take, but Webster Franklin imagines it starting at the Tunica Airport, to the casinos along the levee, through Desoto County and along the I-69 right of way, across to I-55 and up to Memphis International Airport.

All of the representatives from casinos that I spoke to said there's not enough information to really comment on whether it would be good for business but most of them said they're interested in hearing more.

So while light rail is a long way off, pending legislation could bring it one step closer.

Hurricane destruction along the Gulf Coast has called attention to the contribution Tunica has made to the overall economy in Mississippi. Local officials think that might help their case in asking for federal funds to study and one day build a light rail system.

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