LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — After a slew of violent incidents on RTC buses and at their bus stops, passengers tell 13 Action News they are concerned for their safety and have changed their transit habits.
If you ever see Brianne at an RTC stop or onboard a bus, you’ll likely see her on the phone, even if there’s no one on the other end.
“That way they won’t bug you if they know that you are talking to someone and they’ll know that you’re talking to someone and they aren’t going to make a scene because there’s evidence of you talking to someone,” she said.
It’s her way of keeping trouble away, fearing what she’s already been through could happen again.
“I had a guy that was following me, and I had to get on the phone with my friend to make up a scene that they were going to meet with me,” Brianne said.
It’s a real scare for this mom and frequent RTC rider, who has heard of countless incidents where other passengers got hurt or were even killed.
In August of 2018, a woman was riding an RTC bus near Spring Mountain Road and Rainbow Boulevard when a man began stabbing her in the neck.
“I felt an arm around my neck and something going in my throat,” said Robin Woodfin.
The man then got off the bus and stabbed another woman before finally being shot by officers, according to police.
Then in November of 2018, police say an RTC security guard got into an argument with an 84-year-old passenger and pushed him off the bus.
He later died, and the guard was arrested and charged with murder.
In January, a man was shot and killed by another RTC bus security guard at a stop near the Fremont Experience, according to Metro.
And on Monday, police say two men got into a fight on the bus, and one man stabbed the other multiple times, near Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard.
13 Action News checked RTC’s Annual Report Card to see what rider satisfaction is like and just how many people are climbing aboard.
Between 2016 and 2018, ridership fell.
In 2016, the RTC had a total ridership of 65,685,973. In 2017 it dropped to 63,961,848 and in 2018 it dropped to 63,779,330.
However, the drop in passengers was not immediately connected to safety woes.
Also, 13 Action News asked the RTC just how many security guards they have working and which routes they're patrolling.
In response, the RTC provided a statement which reads in part "the RTC invests more than $8 million a year in contracted security services. AlliedUniversal serves the RTC account with 177 security officers, and we allocate security resources to areas of concern as situations dictate."