MJ Maynard, CEO of the RTC Interviewed by Sun Editorial

  • Thu, January 27, 2022 9:50 AM
    Message # 12322814
    Kristal Williams (Administrator)


    Improvements to public transport have made valley a better place to live

    Imagine being able to breeze through game-day traffic for the Raiders or Golden Knights, get dropped off just steps away from an entrance and watch the game knowing you’ll be whisked away from the game just as quickly and easily.

    How much would you pay for this kind of VIP treatment?

    Well, would you believe it can be had for $4 per round trip?

    It can, thanks to the Regional Transportation Commission’s Game Day Express bus routes, which offer convenient transport to Allegiant Stadium, T-Mobile Arena and UNLV games.

    “I’ve been on the Game Day Express and seen the locals clapping; they’re excited because we get to bypass all the cars that are waiting to pull into the parking lot,” said M.J. Maynard, CEO of the RTC, to reporter Geoff Carter of Sun sister publication Las Vegas Weekly.

    These special routes are definitely worthy of applause, as one of several examples of innovative thinking that make the RTC a crown jewel of our community.

    The RTC has set itself apart with its future vision of Southern Nevada as an equitable, fun, efficient and creative community with a multimodal transportation system that provides safe, convenient and inexpensive ways for everyone in our community to get around.

    It’s shown this through its role as the lead coordinating agency for transportation planning in the valley, where the RTC works with federal, state and local governments to improve, modernize and maintain our system. Improvements that the RTC has helped bring about include:

    Working with cutting-edge technology companies to modernize the valley’s traffic-monitoring system. Through pilot programs using traffic cameras, real-time data-analysis systems, digital communications technology and more, the RTC has reduced response time for accidents and improved its accident notifications to motorists so that traffic can more quickly be diverted from problem areas.

    RTC-OnDemand, which operates similarly to rideshare services like Uber and Lyft in that riders can arrange to be picked up at their door and dropped off at grocery stores, medical facilities, etc., for just $2 per round trip. The service is being piloted in Henderson and the southwest valley.

    The GoMed shuttle project, which will establish autonomous-vehicle service between the Bonneville Transit Center in downtown Las Vegas to the medical district. Made possible by a $5.3 million federal grant obtained by the RTC, the shuttle will provide transportation for patients and staff members of the four hospitals in the medical district, which serve about 200,000 patients per year. It’s currently under design and is forecast to begin operating in 2023.

    The Maryland Parkway bus rapid transit system, which will stretch from UNLV to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, downtown and the medical district. The system, which is projected to go online in late 2024 or early 2025, will feature side-running dedicated bus lanes as well as widened sidewalks and protected bicycle lanes.

    A pilot program on a portion of Eastern Avenue in Henderson that uses real-time monitoring technology, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to control traffic signals and reduce stop-and-go traffic in a heavily traveled stretch of the road. After reducing travel time by 25% through the project, the RTC is working with Clark County and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to identify other areas where the technology could be implemented.

    The RTC also has partnered with other organizations in support of Complete Street designs that feature protected bicycle lanes and walkways, as well as other pedestrian-friendly features such as enhanced lighting and safer crosswalks.

    These are just a few examples of how the RTC is working to transform Las Vegas from its car-centric present to a multimodal tomorrow.

    The organization’s work is critically important for our community, as the choices we make in the future for Western metros will determine whether these cities will be sustainable. The situation is not unlike the decisions made at the end of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century to establish mass-transit systems in the great cities of the world. Those choices enabled the cities to thrive for 150 years.

    Now the West is at a similar juncture, where urban sprawl and an influx of new residents have maxed out the traffic grid in several cities, including Las Vegas. Meanwhile, younger generations are showing a clear preference for cities that offer walkability, bike-ability and robust public transportation. Given that these generations hold the key to our future viability, it’s in our best interest to update our system to meet their needs.

    Then there are the needs of current residents, of course, including the Strip workers who form the backbone of our regional and state economy. We must do what we can to ensure that these workers maintain a convenient, inexpensive way to commute to and from work.

    The good news for Las Vegas is that the RTC fully recognizes these needs, and is running full-speed toward improving our transportation system. We’re still missing one crucial element — a light rail system – but that’s also on the RTC’s radar.

    So we’ll join the folks on the Game Day Express in clapping loudly for the RTC. We have some of the most visionary transportation planners in the business here in Las Vegas, and they’ve earned the support of everyone in the city.

    The organization’s work is critically important for our community, as the choices we make in the future for Western metros will determine whether these cities will be sustainable.

    Online Article

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