UPDATE (MARCH 24): The Regional Transportation Commission on Tuesday announced that it will begin operating on its Sunday schedule every day for all routes. Buses will still operate every day across the Las Vegas Valley. However, they will all be on a Sunday schedule.
ALERT: Starting 3/25 & until further notice, #RTCSNV fixed route residential transit to operate on Sunday schedule & Westcliff Airport Express, Centennial Express service suspended. Call center hours reduced to 7am–6pm. Learn more at https://t.co/2yk0BZ3Fyf #StayHomeForNevada pic.twitter.com/KDMRPhdgcX— RTC Southern Nevada (@RTCSNV) March 25, 2020
Original story continues below:
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Regional Transportation Commission has begun to reduce bus service in the Las Vegas Valley, the company said.
"As we deal with the effects and uncertainty of COVID-19, the health and safety of our transit riders, drivers, officers, mechanics and employees remain our highest priority as we work together through this COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic," RTC spokesperson Angela Castro said on March 13. "Given recent closure announcements, the RTC has already and may experience additional reduction in service."
RTC on Monday, March 23 said it will operate residential transit service on a Sunday schedule starting Sunday, and the Westcliff Airport Express (WAX) and Centennial Express (CX) routes will be suspended.
"A Sunday schedule varies for each route but typically offers less frequency to reflect lower ridership and less traffic congestion," the release said.
Additionally, the RTC said it is implementing actions that urge transit riders to comply with recommended social distancing precautions.
- Providing more space on routes by incorporating as many larger, high-capacity 60-foot or double-decker buses as possible, even on routes that do not typically need them.
- Reducing close-proximity seating on buses by installing signs on seats that prompt riders to sit farther apart.
- Promoting social distancing in our transit centers with limited customer presence (10 max) and a 10-minute limit per customer.
- Adding extra buses into circulation when buses on routes begin to get crowded.
- Using operator safety doors regularly to promote distance.
MV Transportation on Monday confirmed an employee who "supports" RTC tested positive for COVID-19. The company is one of two contractors that provides drivers for RTC.
The employee self-identified being ill on March 19 and was sent home to self-isolate, a statement from the company said. At the time, 38 additional employees who had come in contact with the person were sent home to self-isolate. The employee did not have contact with the public or transit vehicles.
The safety and wellbeing of the RTC’s passengers and our employees is our foremost consideration. Since the initial coronavirus outbreak, MV began encouraging employees to follow the advice of the CDC and local public health officials and ensure that they wash their hands frequently to prevent the spread of the virus and, when soap is not available, utilize hand sanitizer. This awareness training also included directions to not come to work when sick and to contact their healthcare provider.
The RTC is also reducing the operating hours of its call center. Effective Sunday, March 29, the call center will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., instead of 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Customers are reminded that they can submit comments and/or questions via the RTC’s “Contact Us” web page 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Additionally, the 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. hours of operation for the sales booth at the Bonneville Transit Center will change to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Select passes can still be purchased in person at other locations, but customers are encouraged to use the rideRTC app for fastest service.