RTC rolls out Downtown bike share, a new mobile app and wifi on buses

A pictorial label instructs bike share customers how to retrieve a bike at the newly installed bike share racks outside the RTC Bike Center, Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

On that golden day when all of us can look at each other, nod our heads and say, “This is a real city,” it might not be the Raiders who got us there, but the Regional Transportation Commission. In addition to running Las Vegas’ buses, the transit agency spearheads street improvements (its latest, a reconfiguration of Flamingo Road, will be completed next month). And when light rail comes to town, RTC will run those trains on time. Here’s what the agency has done for you lately.

The RideRTC App Available for both iPhone and Android, RTC's mobile app allows riders to purchase and display bus fares directly on their devices. A complementary app, Transit App, lists real-time arrival data for your bus, supplied by GPS tracking. It’s not a new technology—transit agencies in LA and Portland already offer online ticket apps—but that’s okay, says RTC General Manager Tina Quigley: “We’re only investing in the stuff that’s tried and true,” she says. “We’re looking for ways to do things more efficiently and cost-effectively.”

Bike share Public bike share will launch Downtown with 180 bikes and 21 stations in about a month. You can check out bikes by using the on-site terminal, or with the RideRTC app. At the end of your ride, simply take the bike to any of those stations and leave it there. “We look at bike share as an extension of our transit system,” says RTC’s Senior Director of Engineering & Technology David Swallow, emphasizing its utility for short trips and “first-and-last-mile” transit connections.

Wifi on buses Free wifi will be available for riders soon. Side benefit: It’ll make that Transit App real-time arrival data more accurate. And an upcoming service revision will increase frequency, in any case: “25 percent of all of our routes will be operating at 15-minute intervals or less,” Quigley says.

Light rail on Maryland Parkway Plans are moving ahead on a light rail line to connect McCarran Airport, UNLV, Midtown, the Las Vegas Medical District and Fremont East. The agency is currently applying for various federal transit grants—as are other cities. Quigley is confident we’ll get the funds. “Our application is very competitive,” she says.

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