Las Vegas Valley bus drivers want to see more done to keep them safe on their routes

After a string of recent violent incidents involving RTC buses, drivers tell FOX5 that enough is enough.
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 2:33 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - After a string of recent violent incidents involving RTC buses, drivers tell FOX5 that enough is enough. Several of them spoke in front of the RTC Board of Commissioners on May 18 about what they want to see changed.

“That meeting was a waste of time,” said Sandra Adams, vice president of local bus union, ATU Local 1637. “Everything they said meant nothing.”

Adams and other drivers said they are frustrated and afraid.

“It’s a shame that I have to wear a bulletproof vest and a cut-proof vest to work every day,” said one driver.

“I’m constantly threatened as a woman,” said another. “I got 6′5′' men threatening me. That’s not okay.”

“Make this a safe place so my mom can come home tonight,” said the son of another RTC employee.

Drivers say they’ve been threatened, berated and assaulted on their routes. They say it’s unsafe for passengers too.

“This is a tourist town,” Adams said. “People come here from all over the world. They don’t want to see this kind of stuff on the news. You know what they’re doing. They’re scaring people away.”

Before the meeting, drivers said that they want transit police who have the ability to arrest offenders to ride the buses. During the meeting, an RTC rep said some of the changes that have been made include safety campaigns, larger warning signs on buses, a barrier to separate riders from drivers and panic buttons in case of emergencies. Adams said it’s not enough.

“I push the button,” she said. “The radio will call me ten minutes later and ask if I’m okay. It only takes a few seconds for someone to assault me.”

“What are we waiting on?” Adams continued. “To get that call at night that one of my drivers got killed, stabbed, shot?

As for the next steps, Adams said they want to go to Carson City and change legislation, but they’re pleading for guidance on where to start.

“We’re willing to do whatever we have to do,” Adams said. “It seems like we’re out here on our own. So we have to do what’s best for us.”