Energy-efficient Transportation Options For Las Vegas Residents And Businesses – LAS VEGAS – The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) will receive more than $9 million in federal funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to promote safe and sustainable mobility options. This funding will allow the RTC to purchase hydrogen fuel cell electric buses, provide workforce development training and install security measures at various transit facilities.

Approximately $6.7 million of the total funding received by the RTC comes from the FTA’s Low or No Emission Grant Program, which helps transportation agencies purchase and rehabilitate vehicles and related equipment while promoting equity and reducing barriers to low incomes and minority groups are taken away through a safer, cleaner environment. and more comfortable transit experience. This funding will further accelerate the implementation of RTC’s Zero Emissions Bus Rollout plan, which will allow RTC to purchase four 60-foot electric hydrogen fuel cells and train its workforce to safely operate and maintain zero-emission vehicles.

Energy-efficient Transportation Options For Las Vegas Residents And Businesses

Energy-efficient Transportation Options For Las Vegas Residents And Businesses

“The RTC is pleased to secure additional federal funding for Southern Nevada to further its sustainability initiative. This funding will help grow innovative technology options that reduce harmful emissions while protecting air quality and increasing equity and accessibility for millions of residents and visitors,” said Henderson Mayor and RTC Chair Debra March. “We are extremely grateful for the continued support of our federal delegation, who are working tirelessly to assist the RTC in its efforts to improve mobility and quality of life for all Southern Nevadans.”

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The balance of the funding, $2.5 million, comes from the FEMA Transit Security Grant Program. This 100 percent federally funded project will subsidize the installation of safety measures at several RTC transit facilities, including bollards at the South Strip Transit Terminal (SSTT) and the Bonneville Transit Center that help protect critical transportation infrastructure and mass transit interchanges for thousands of residents. and visitors. The grant will also fund the construction and installation of electronic gates at the SSTT, improving safety for both passengers and operators.

“The safety and security of our customers as they travel in our vehicles, within our facilities and on our roadways is of the utmost importance to the RTC,” said M.J. Maynard, CEO of RTC. “This critical funding will allow us to deploy safety measures that will provide a safer travel experience for operators, transit passengers and pedestrians in our valley.”

About the RTC The RTC is the regional authority that oversees public transportation, metropolitan planning, road financing, traffic management and the public bicycle sharing system. The RTC’s vision is to advance regionally transformative mobility solutions through equitable, innovative and sustainable infrastructure development. The RTC’s mission is to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors through sustainable planning, collaborative problem solving, safety and equitable transportation services. To learn more about the RTC and our key initiatives or to download the rideRTC app, visit . Stay informed by subscribing to our blog or following us on social media. The Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission reported 166 passenger-on-passenger assaults and 35 passenger-on-driver assaults in the fiscal year that ended last month.

Brakes hiss, windows shake, panels creak and passengers jerk back as the refrigerated vehicles take off from stops across the Las Vegas Valley.

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That’s the typical scene on buses operated by the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission, which touts more than 40 million annual trips.

But in recent years, drivers tasked with ferrying passengers on dozens of routes on hundreds of buses have increasingly complained to government officials about what they describe as increasing hazards on the vehicles blamed on misbehaving and sometimes violent passengers.

For example, one passenger is accused of fatally stabbing Dominique Lucas, 30, on a bus in February, Las Vegas police allege.

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A union representing transit workers told local officials in mid-April about two other stabbings and a shooting that had occurred within a two-week period.

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Later that month, a transit supervisor suffered life-threatening injuries when he was stabbed at a bus station in downtown Las Vegas, police said.

“How many lives will be lost?” asked Dennis Hennessey, a bus driver, during an interview with the Review-Journal. The 65-year-old man is part of a safety committee that also consists of RTC staff and representatives of both the operator and the security companies that the transport committee contracts.

Hennessey himself, a 13-year RTC veteran, was attacked about a half-dozen times, including one time when he was “beaten up pretty good,” he said.

Although it has been about two years since he was physically attacked, he said, “I’ve been spit on, had Coke thrown at me or had soda thrown at me.”

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“We threw feces and urine over the top of the driver’s compartment,” Hennessey said. “Yes, there is fear; it is a real fear. Is it scary? You never know where you’re driving.”

Recently, he said, he had to stop his bus and kick off a passenger who threatened to stab an elderly person.

“Verbal abuse is common when you say ‘no’ to something, and there is a whole list of rules posted on RTC buses,” he said.

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Rules that seem to cause the most chaos include waking sleeping passengers or denying free rides, said Hennessey, who called the ongoing problems a “self-fulfilling prophecy.”

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“When I first started as a driver, you might get one or two people a day asking for free rides,” he said. “Now there are thirty to forty a day, because it’s always ‘just let it go; just let it go.’ “

“So there is no tariff enforcement policy that will stick,” he added. “We have the same people asking for free rides every day. … those who escalate are the same.”

The driver also blames lax security, claiming that guards placed at stops and on random buses as a deterrent have their hands tied on how much action they can take.

“Don’t wait for me to say I have a sleeper in the back,” Hennessey said. “Get on the bus; walk through the bus.”

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Hennessey recently traveled nearly nine hours as a passenger on ten different routes. “I encountered zero guards,” he noted.

RTC reported 166 passenger-on-passenger assaults in fiscal 2023, which ended in late June, down 29 from the year before. Meanwhile, 35 assaults between passengers and drivers were reported in the same year, three more than in the 2022 financial year.

“We are a microcosm of what is happening in our community, and the community saw an increase in crimes and unfortunately so did we,” RTC Deputy CEO Francis Julian said in an interview.

Energy-efficient Transportation Options For Las Vegas Residents And Businesses

Increasing violence in public transport is a national problem, says RTC. And while transit security events in the US exploded by 23 percent between 2021 and 2022, RTC only saw an increase of about 6.5 percent.

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The drivers union has called for the creation of a transit police department, something Julian said should come from the Nevada Legislature. Hennessey expressed frustration that no action was taken during the semi-annual session that had just ended.

Julian said the RTC has invested more than $33 million in public safety over the past three years, including upgrading the high-definition surveillance cameras on the buses, he said. Since 2019, the number of guards has increased from 196 to 214, with 33 additional positions approved.

“We are not going to solve it in one day. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to bite that elephant one bite at a time and come up with solutions that I think we are,” Julian said. “Are they perfect? No, but we do see some progress.”

Hennessey said security is slow to respond to incidents and they don’t take action if they don’t see a crime happening.

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“Why can’t someone just put the video in right away and say, ‘Look, trust what the driver said when he said that guy just punched that other guy, or that guy did this, or that guy threatened me,'” Hennessey said. said. “Be that as it may, you can get the video back; they don’t want to do that.”

Observers should board one of the mud brown and navy blue buses to experience a diverse group of passengers of all ages, from casual and regular passengers, some of whom have relied on the RTC for decades.

“It takes me where I need to go; that’s the most important thing, you know,” said Traub, a 71-year-old military veteran.

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Some, like David Jones – who recently boarded a bus late at night on Flamingo Road near the Strip – take the bus out of convenience.

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“I save about $400, $500 a month,” Jones said of not having a monthly car payment even though his bus was delayed more than an hour that night.

There are passengers traveling to the airport, or others who seem transient, carrying luggage. Then there are those who travel with their work clothes on, such as scrubs or fast food restaurant clothes.

Some riders are talkative, while others sit quietly with their eyes glued to their phones, with the sound blocked out by headphones.

A passenger who snuck onto a Maryland Parkway bus on June 22 nearly caused a commotion when the driver refused to leave until he caught “the man in the brown shirt.”

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