Are people using the alternative transport methods provided for the NFL Draft? FOX5 visits sites
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - To get a feel for ridership numbers and overall customer experience, members of the FOX5 team visited several alternative transportation sites Friday that had been provided by local officials specifically for the NFL Draft.
First, it’s worth nothing that the NFL Draft experience did not begin until noon Friday, and the draft itself did not start until later in the afternoon and evening.
That being said, in the 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. time window Friday, we visited the Regional Transit Commission’s shuttle pick-up location at Green Valley Ranch Resort and Casino in Henderson. While there, we noticed just a small group of people who showed up, while several buses waited for them. Parking was free and easy at the District.
One shuttle in Henderson departed with only six passengers on it. Still, passengers seemed to enjoy the hassle-free experience.
“$4 roundtrip? You can’t beat that,” said Devin Barranco, who rode the RTC’s NFL Draft Express shuttle from Henderson to the event. “I’m probably the biggest NFL fan there is. A lot of people didn’t think it’d ever come to Las Vegas... just for it to come here, it’s incredible.”
The Green Valley Resort pick-up spot is one of the many park-and-ride locations the RTC has set up. You can park your car for free, board the shuttle, and the shuttle will later return you to your parked car when you’re ready to go home.
RTC of Southern Nevada provided a statement to FOX5 Friday, writing, “We provided 2,400 total trips during the first day of the NFL Draft and expect that number to be even higher [Friday] and [Saturday]. Operationally, it couldn’t have gone more smoothly. We look forward to continue providing a great experience to our residents and visitors during the remainder of the draft.”
Over in North Las Vegas, the Cashman Field park-and-ride RTC pick-up spot left many buses sitting idly, waiting for anyone to show up in the midday hours Friday. The RTC attendant there told FOX5 that he had only seen eight people show up to use the service, as of 12:30 p.m. Friday.
If you’re planning on heading out for the evening activities, the RTC shuttles run approximately every 30 minutes, with the last departing buses leaving at 8 p.m.
The last returning bus leaves the event at 1:00 a.m.
For those who are looking to stay out later, the Monorail stays open until 3:00 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
FOX5 visited the Monorail station at the Silver Lot at the Las Vegas Convention Center, where people were invited to come park their cars for free and board the Monorail to the event’s main hub.
“This is the best way to do it. If you’re going to do it, this is the best way to do it,” said one Monorail rider we spoke to.
“For sure,” agreed her friend. “Especially if you’re staying at one of the hotels, you want to use the monorail. We also got a discount for being locals.”
Another Monorail rider said, “I didn’t have to drive at all. It was awesome... It would’ve been a nightmare.”
A Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spokesperson said that people were making use of the monorail: “Leadership of the monorail was strong all day [Thursday], and the system managed demand very well. The majority of Thursday’s riders were local who took advantage of free parking at the convention center. We anticipate the monorail will remain a popular convenient option for the remainder of the draft events,” said Lori Nelson-Kraft, SVP of Communications LVCVA.
What about rideshares? Are Lyft and Uber drivers busy? Rideshare driver Larry Ehrlich had only been working the draft on Friday, but said that as of 1:30 p.m. in the afternoon, it had not been as lucrative as he’d hoped.
“In the middle of the draft it’s been busy, but not as busy as maybe we were expecting it to be,” said Ehrlich.
Our visit to the Tuscany Suites -- the dedicated drop-off spot for NFL Draft rideshare -- showed that around midday Friday, there was hardly anyone being dropped off.
Ehrlich said he expects business to pick up in the evening hours.
“The diehards are here strictly for draft only,” said Ehrlich. “I’m hoping for lots of rides, and lots of money.”
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