Workers and gamblers who were hoping to take the bus will have no access to the new MGM National Harbor casino when it opens next year, according to the company’s transportation plan.
Workers and gamblers who were hoping to take the bus to the new MGM National Harbor casino when it opens next year are out of luck, according to the company’s transportation plan.
In a letter to Prince George’s County officials, MGM asserts that its guests won’t be using public transportation and that the number of employees using transit to get to work will be “almost non-existent.” Therefore, the company says, “there are no expectations that public buses will be able to access the site.”
MGM’s plan is a blow to transit advocates and those in Prince George’s who hoped the $1.2 billion casino would become a transit model for the Washington region, and they say the company’s decision to not include bus stops is a break from previous commitments.
County documents related to the project indicate that one of MGM’s “green” commitments was to have the site “served by public transportation via existing and new bus stops.” And just last month, the company’s top executive said the project’s traffic-management plan would address neighborhood concerns about additional traffic in the community.
“We will be a huge advocate for public transportation,” Lorenzo Creighton, MGM National Harbor president and chief executive, said in an interview last month. “It is in everybody’s best interest to diminish the number of cars as much as we can coming into the harbor. We are going to do as much as we can to encourage that.”
According to the company’s transportation plan, as laid out in a document to the county, MGM plans to offer shuttle service to employees from the Oxon Hill Park and Ride lot. The casino will have 130 bike spaces, a taxi stand with room for up to 12 cabs, and parking, drop-off and pickup space for up to 10 tour buses.
The facility, which will overlook the Potomac River, is scheduled to open in the second half of 2016. It will have 3,600 slot machines, a 300-suite hotel, a 3,000-seat theater, and upscale shops and dining. There will be 3,600 employees and capacity for 31,500 people. In the report to the county, MGM acknowledges that the 4,800 parking spaces on site may not be enough, so plans are to guide overflow traffic to other areas when the garage is 90 percent full.