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RTC releases statement on safety after Vegas bus rider loses eye in attack

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Posted at 7:45 PM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 22:45:45-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Regional Transportation Commission says it is "continually working on new ways to improve safety" following an attack of an elderly bus passenger in December.

PREVIOUS: Vegas bus rider loses eye in attack; police search for suspect

On Wednesday, police said the victim from the incident lost an eye in the attack, and authorities released surveillance video with the hope that the suspect may be identified. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

The RTC says it has a "robust security plan" and that passengers that feel unsafe should tell the driver.

Read the agency's full statement below:

Regarding your inquiry about safety, the RTC is continually working on new ways to improve safety for our customers while they’re riding transit. Our security initiatives continue to evolve and broaden, especially as new technologies emerge that offer effective solutions to increase safety and give riders peace of mind.

In 2018, the RTC carried more than 65 million passengers and had 126 reported passenger-on-passenger assaults. And while that equates to less than 0.0002 percent of our passengers, any instance of violence is one too many.

Like other transit agencies across the country, addressing crime is a continual challenge. The RTC has a robust security plan in place for the safety of our passengers, including the deployment of security officers who patrol our transit system at any given time, the installation of safety enclosures on all of our buses for the operators, an upgraded surveillance system to provide law enforcement with real-time access to our on-board cameras, and Transit Watch as part of the rideRTC app that allows our passengers to report suspicious activity.

We currently spend more than $8 million on contracted security services. However, in 2020, we plan on increasing that budget by more than 35 percent to $11 million. This will allow us to increase security personnel and wages; use technology and location beacons to know in real time where the officers are on the system, and provide body cameras and bullet-proof vests for all officers.

In 2020, we will also spend an additional $9.7 million in grant funding to replace the security surveillance at our facilities and modernize our security cameras and software on our buses to provide better resolution and enhanced video capabilities.

If a passenger on an RTC bus feels unsafe at any time, they are urged to notify the vehicle driver immediately. If a driver is notified, they can then contact the bus operations center, which can have security or police dispatched to the scene immediately to provide further assistance. Passengers can also report safety issues via the rideRTC app or call 911 in an emergency.