Group files class-action suit for safer bus shelters - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Group files class-action suit for safer bus shelters

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The Committee for Citizens for Better Transportation is filing a class-action lawsuit against the Regional Transportation Commission, requesting immediate action to make Las Vegas bus stops safer.

The suit comes after an accident at a bus shelter that sent three children to the hospital in critical condition on Friday morning. The incident is the latest in a string of similar accidents involving vehicles running into bus stops.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of Committee for Citizens for Better Transportation Chairman Chris Christoff, and says that there are more than 1,000 bus shelters in the Valley that don't meet national safety standards because they're too close to traffic.

Attorney Matthew Callister is representing the committee, asking the RTC and their contractor, Outdoor Promotions, move bus shelters at least five feet away from the streets immediately.

The suit says in 2008, the RTC conducted a safety study acknowledging that there are more than 1,000 bus shelters that are too close to the nearest travel lane. It says the RTC hasn't made enough improvements since then, despite a $1 million donation from the City of Las Vegas to make those changes.

General Manager of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada Tina Quigley said, "We continue to identify locations and work with property owners to get attention and cooperation on moving shelters."

Quigley says the city's $1 million donation will allow them to push 150 shelters away from the streets, but they're still deciding which stops to move.

The RTC says they have already moved 600 shelters to safer locations.

In the next year, Quigley says that money and an additional $2.25 million in the RTC's budget allows for safety improvements to 300 stops. She says some of the stops would be on private property once they're moved, and the move requires permission from the property owners. That obstacle and budget restrictions, Quigley says, are two reasons why more stops haven't been improved.

Callister isn't seeking any punitive damages from the RTC. He and his clients say they would rather see that money put toward making safety improvements.

"Tell me what's more important than addressing these 1,000 death traps now?" asked Callister, during a media conference Wednesday.

The RTC says there are more people using public transportation now because of rising gas prices and the falling economy.

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