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The RTC wants to hear from you

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by dewey089, May 7, 2012.

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  1. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Here is a link to a site asking for your opinion and giving you a vehicle for responding.
    Please tell them something. They badly need to know we tourists exist.

    http://www.rtcsouthernnevada.com/transit/fareadjustment/adjustment2012.cfm

    Here is my response.


    The most frustrating part of these changes is that tourists are so little valued that there is no language to address the rules for them.
    I can't tell you how long it took to get a definitive answer on the 5 day pass as to whether it was all access for tourists or not. Phone calls, emails, Facebook all disagreed until finally I went to the BTC and had it spelled out. Then just last week a fellow made three calls to your office. Two said the 30 day pass was all access for tourists and one said he would be put off the strip buses. I write for 5 Vegas discussion boards and promote buses. Cabs are hated for the long hauling, and buses would be a logical answer, but all this confusion makes people nervous, so they just take a cab. Couldn't you make clear in this new proposal whether tourists who buy 15 day passes for the residential coridor also can use them on the strip? We don't miss the move to make two classes of bus riders pay two sorts of fees. We got it when the reduced fares were eliminated on tourist routes and we get it that eliminating the 5 day pass slaps short term tourist in the face. And it irks us because we know that while you are hurting for local money, the federal stimulus (all our tax dollars) allowed for an amazing renovation of routes, buses, transfer stations. Since the money came from all of us, we think that the fares should be the same for all of us. But at least include us somewhere in the proposal. It is like we don't exist. We don't have local ID's. What passes at what prices are available to us? And especially seniors.
    I also think that reporting in the news that the rate increases are to be shared by all interested parties and then raising the 30 day pass 40% for the old, handicapped, and the children while raising it just 7% for the rest of the riders reeks of insensitivity.
    I'll post your answer where a few hundred tourists can read it.
     
  2. tcocona

    tcocona Low-Roller

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    The RTC Fare Proposal

    Dewey ; Thanks for making the effort you did in responding to subject proposal.The las vegas bus system is good,
    but you are correct in its bias towards tourist.In my reply to RTC I expressed my disdain in the way it treats tourist also.

    I requested malice towards none and the same type of fairness in the transportation system that we have in Virginia (Tidewater Area) toward Nevada visitors.

    Thanks Again=Tcocona
     
  3. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Thanks for the direct reply. Too often complaints and concerns just get expressed here where no bus planners read them. If they hear from us, there is a chance they will at least clarify the rules.
     
  4. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    my biggest beef with the RTC is the dual fare structure, one for residents and one for non-residents. I am not a public transit expert, but I cannot think of another transit system that discriminates against tourists. If the RTC accepted one dime of federal tax funding, this dual fare is a violation of the fourteenth amendment to the US Constitution, which is the equal protection clause: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    In my opinion, the RTC dual fare structure abridges the privileges offered to a resident.
     
  5. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    I don't really think its a constitutional violation.

    And while no one likes paying more, its perfectly logical on many levels. First, the locals are already subsidizing transit through their taxes presumably. Why shouldn't that get them lower fares?

    Second, from a purely financial perspective, you charge tourists more because you can. They have fewer and costlier alternatives to get around, and are only there on short stays, and will pay more than a local will. If you went to a single rate structure it would save tourists a little and cost locals much more.

    Although I do agree with Dewey that the lack of communication over what is/is not ok is a problem.
     
  6. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I think Dewey wants an answer to a question that has no answer. Prob technically the passes are not good without local ID on the strip, but since drivers don't and won't check, does it really matter?
    I know I've seen drivers let people on who dont even have a valid ticket, usually some sad looking person fumbles with a probably expired pass a few times, and the driver will just wave them by(most likely in frustration and to avoid any hassles). Plus it's 105 out, and they dont want to leave some 70 year old standing there as they drive off.
     
  7. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    If the RTC accepts federal funding for its budget, be it for rolling stock or building a bus shelter, or the Bonneville Transit Center, then my taxes have been used to subsidize the operations of this system. If the RTC was subsidized with only local taxes and without federal subsidies, I would agree, charge outsiders more. To have to pay a higher fare than a local is absurd.

    Did you fly out of McCarran? The tax on jet fuel subsidized the RTC
    Did you stay in a hotel or buy anything? Sales and excise taxes subsidized the RTC
    Did you rent a car? Motor fuel taxes subsidized the RTC

    Receipts at the fare box accounted for only 19% of revenue, while the three taxes above account for 58% of revenue. Grants made up 21% of revenue.

    I have taken public transportation all over the USA and Canada and never been asked to pay more than a local.

    The problem with ambiguity in the fare structure is there will always be some bus driver on a power trip that could legally deny someone from boarding because they don't possess a local ID. With my luck, I would be on the receiving end after an all day search for my favorite beer, which happens to be my next one!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
  8. bedaniels

    bedaniels Low-Roller

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    Dewey, your posts convinced me to give up rental cars and taxi's and use the bus system in while visiting Vegas and it has worked out well. I would normally spend about $200 per trip on rental cars (after all the fees) or taxi's (after the tips). Now I put that money on the gaming table. I usually go downtown for a night, over to the Orleans, or along the strip to visit friends and casinos. Hopping a well timed bus to/from the airport is faster than going to rental car center or waiting in the taxi line and going through those hassles on both ends of the trip. I want to be able to preorder the 5 day pass for ~$20 and have them mail it to my home before my trip just like the 3 day pass, but it looks like they want to eliminate the 5 day pass. I agree with the others one fare structure for all! Thanks again Dewey, Party On.
     
  9. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

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    Thanks Bedaniels.

    Sometimes we tourists have to rent a car, but when we can reduce that it saves more than money.
    The accident statistics are 40 to 1, car to bus in terms of fatality in Nevada. And if we think we are good drivers and can avoid accidents, forget that false sense of security. A majority of the accidents are rear end collisions that happen while we are parked at a stop sign. Nothing to do for that.
    And in Vegas we are driving with tired tourists, drunks, and road rage locals. All do unpredictable things.

    I also always figure that every day I use a rental car, I lose $40 in the value of free alcohol.
    And the money really adds up for me as I go to Vegas solo and ride on senior discount rates, so when I compare car rental, it is huge, especially with gas going up.

    I still go to Red Rock one day and rent for one day to do that. But I drive right from the car rental warehouse out to Red Rock on local roads and that limits my exposure to tourist and strip drivers.
    And sometimes I have to rent to do family things there with my local relatives.

    Actually for me, these new changes in bus rates will just raise my cost a bit. I get the 30 day all access pass as I go to Vegas for 22 days at a time.
    But I talk to lots of bus riders who are confused by the RTC and who would like, as you do, to have the 5 day pass option rather than the 3 day pass on the strip. I suppose there were too many of us taking them up on that deal. Now we will see if the 15 day passes are all access for tourists. Well, maybe we will see. It took me a long time to nail down the 5 day pass rules, and yet just today someone wrote me quoting the website again as if that was accurate.

    It is a shame that so many dealings have to be with companies that don't want to reveal the fine print: banks, car dealers, even my garbage providers. Every attitude is, "Don't give a sucker and even break."

    So I promote the buses now only if folks can enjoy finding a deal against the disingenuous grain of the RTC. It is like playing live poker, so I don't mind playing.
    Hope you write them and tell them what you are thinking.

    And it is fine to know something I do and write helps travelers. My last attempt meant writing in detail on 16 private messages as well as posting forever on passes and rules and such often answering questions I had answered, and then the fellow got to Vegas, took a couple of rides, and hated the buses.

    This is a fine section of a discussion board too. And there are plenty of bus riders who post here, so we get the newest information first hand.
     
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