Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) serves as both the transportation planning and transit agency for the Las Vegas Valley. These roles allow the RTC to have a tremendous impact on the daily lives of those who live in and visit Southern Nevada. That impact makes public involvement crucial. We engage the community in a number of different ways. This involvement allows our organization to educate current and future transit riders, receive feedback from various points of view and successfully serve Southern Nevada’s 1.9 million residents and nearly 40 million annual visitors.
Perhaps the best way to sum up our philosophy on public involvement is to go to the same places as those who will be impacted by a project. The RTC interacts with the community at large regional events, local neighborhood meetings, schools and even the mall. Our focus is determining who is impacted by a project, whether they are people living in a neighborhood or business owners in a commercial district, and then identify the places within those areas where we can reach those who will be impacted. That may mean participating in events at local parks and schools, visiting businesses door-to-door or spending a weekend answering questions at a local mall. Our key is to go where the people are.
One successful way we’ve found to reach large numbers of people is through transportation fairs. Twice a year, the RTC sponsors fairs at local malls. These fairs are an opportunity for the public to comment on the RTC’s projects and ask questions of staff. Staff members from both our transit and transportation planning departments attend, giving residents one-stop shopping for transportation information. Our staff also regularly participates in town advisory board meetings, town hall meetings and, on average, eight general community events each month. We’ve also recently launched a new speakers’ bureau program. The speakers’ bureau sends our staff out into the community to local clubs and organizations to talk about our transportation vision for Southern Nevada.
Another way that the RTC works to reach residents is with our On the Move television program. The show is produced monthly and airs on local government access television stations. A typical show might teach viewers about a corridor study, how to get to a baseball game using transit and how our new interactive transit trip planner can help you plan a trip on the bus without ever leaving your home.
Three citizen committees are also important parts of our community outreach efforts. Our Citizens Advisory Committee provides valuable feedback on our Regional Transportation Plan and our Transportation Improvement Program. A second committee provides feedback on bus shelters and stops throughout the community, focusing on how to ensure that our stops are safe and clean for the people who use them. We also work to involve the older members of our community. The RTC’s Older Americans/Disabilities Transportation Advisory Committee is made up of both the senior and disabled members of the community and it is invaluable in providing feedback for a number of RTC policies and programs. In addition, our staff members regularly participate in outreach events at local senior centers, where they teach seniors how to ride our fixed-route bus system as well as the specialized fixed-route and door-to-door senior services.
One of the most important groups that the RTC works to engage is the youth in the Las Vegas Valley. The more children introduced to transit, the more likely they are to utilize it as adults. It’s that concept that led us to develop our “Let’s Go!” outreach program. This program brings RTC transit vehicles to various schools and presents the children with information regarding transportation that is geared toward their ages. The children learn rules and tips for riding our system and share that experience with their parents.