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Las Vegas cannot yet be classified as a big city, but is faces many of the same challenges as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles when it comes to transportation. An ever growing population and rising tourist numbers place substantial demands on every roadway in the city, resulting in dozens of ongoing construction efforts either to add new thoroughfares or to widen those already in use. Southern Nevada invests $500 million a year in surface transportation, and the result has been more stress-free commutes in less time.
Public Transportation has also become a priority. The Citizens Area Transit (CAT) bus system operates routes throughout Southern Nevada, and a long-overdue fixed guide way transit system has finally been approved. Despite an estimated cost of $100 million per mile to build, the first 5.2-mile phase of the system could be in operation by 2003.
Getting into and out of Las Vegas has also become easier with the addition of 26 more gates at McCarran International Airport. In 1999, McCarran recorded its highest year-end percentage passenger increase in five years. The city recently purchased 6,500 acres near Jean, south of Las Vegas, for a proposed second airport site, which could handle an additional 30 million passengers annually.