Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the city is contributing $1 million to purchase right-of-way at bus stops operated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) to help the RTC in its continued efforts to enhance safety at local transit stops. Funds for right-of-way acquisition come from an appropriation of the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax.
“We are continuing a serious conversation with our community about how we can pull together resources to create a long-term, safer environment for pedestrians, including those who wait at our public bus stops,” Goodman said. “The fact is moving shelters further back from sidewalks or creating bus turnouts increases safety at stops. The challenge is gaining the right-of-way to make these efforts come to fruition and acquiring it is the critical role the city plays.”
In 2008, an independent safety study commissioned by the RTC reported that moving shelters at least five feet from the curb greatly enhances pedestrian safety. Since then, the agency has spent $15 million on moving stops to the far side of an intersection, pushing 515 stops and shelters further back from the sidewalks, raising curbs, installing and transitioning stops into 478 bus turnouts, and creating pedestrian buffers where possible.
In the last several months, city public works officials have been working together with the RTC to prioritize the acquisitions based on ridership volumes at stop locations combined with high traffic volumes and speeds. The city estimates it can acquire right-of-way for 150 to 200 bus stops in the city’s jurisdictional boundary.
Currently, the RTC operates 1,434 bus stops within the City of Las Vegas and 3,156 active stops throughout Southern Nevada.
Funds for the acquisition efforts will be available starting July 1, 2013, and the city and RTC anticipate the entire process — from surveying to project completion — to take between one to two years to complete.