RTC union pushes for better safety measures on Las Vegas public buses

They say assaults against them are on the rise.
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 8:18 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A push for more safety measures on public buses in Las Vegas is being driven by the union representing RTC drivers.

They say assaults against them are on the rise. On Thursday, they rallied and took their plight to the Clark County Commission.

“Our drivers get treated like trash, lied to, they are bullied, we have a problem getting our pay, pat shortages are out of the roof, we get talked to like little kids at dispatch,” says union leader Sandra Adams. “The call radio for incidents that are happening on our bus they don’t answer.”

Adams adds that the security changes made for drivers aren’t working and things are getting worse. She describes recent examples.

“Even with the panic button you push the button and they don’t call you for half an hour so that’s no good,” she explained. “Drivers are getting spit on, stabbed, attacked. we had one lady that told a passenger that he couldn’t board because he was bleeding and that’s a ‘bio’ and we were told not to let them board, he threw a knife at her and hit her in the face.”

RTC said passenger-on-operator assaults have increased 9.4% over last year, from 32 to 35 assaults so far this year. Passenger-on-passenger assaults have decreased by 15%, from 196 in 2022 to 166 this year.

Transdev is the company now responsible for the operations and dispatch of RTC. Representatives acknowledged that it needs to do better.

“I am deeply concerned with what I have heard,” Kevin Shubert, Transdev Vice President, told the commission. “I have heard some of these complaints, that they feel they need to come here to do that, I am committed, and I know Transdev is committed to making sure that we rectify this. So, I apologize and I want you to know that we are committed to resolve this.”

That response prompted a quick reaction from Clark County Commission Chairman Jim Gibson.

“I am not going to get into a dialogue because it is not the appropriate forum,” he said. “But we are paying you a lot of money so do better,” he said.

A Transdev representative says it’s been an ongoing issue, but Thursday’s push could be pivotal to making real changes for driver and passenger safety.

“I’ve heard what was said today and i understand it’s real and it’s time to take action to do better,” said Transdev COO Lauren Skiver.

RTC says it has added more security officers to address safety concerns and is almost fully staffed with more than 200 officers.