LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Many who commute by RTC buses are seeing long waits on their routes. A shortage of drivers, the ongoing pandemic, and construction are all to blame.
It’s a headache for frequent bus riders like Patricia Siebel. She takes the bus four days a week. In the past week, she had to wait almost an hour.
“The bus comes at 10:13 normally,” said Siebel. “But twice last week I had to wait. The bus didn’t show up until like 5 till 11. I had to take an Uber home.”
The RTC’s deputy CEO Francis Julien says the agency is experiencing a critical labor shortage and is working with contractors to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Julien says RTC has added vehicles to routes.
“A lot of the new recruits that came from jobs where they were furloughed or fired during the pandemic got recalled and obviously had more seniority in their previous jobs,” said Julien.
Some of the more high-frequency routes are along Flamingo, Tropicana, Charleston, Sahara, and Boulder Highway. Julian said construction in those areas is also adding to delays.
RTC has a new campaign to help recruit drivers.
“It takes a month to train a bus driver,” said Julian. “We are hopeful and what we are seeing right now with the campaign is both contractors have a lot of new recruits that are being trained.”
Meanwhile, RTC is asking riders to be patient, use their rideshare app for bus schedules, and be kind to drivers.