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RTC experiencing bus service delays due to rise in COVID cases

Posted at 6:28 AM, Jan 11, 2022

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The latest surge in omicron cases is currently affecting transportation in the Las Vegas valley.

One of the most recent agencies reeling from the effects of the new variant is the Regional Transportation Commission.

If you ride the city bus, chances are you've been notified of several delays in the past few weeks.

The RTC attributes the disruption in service to many drivers falling ill with COVID.

The recent rise in cases has put a strain on staffing.

13 Action News spoke to RTC Deputy CEO Francis Julien who says the biggest issue they are facing is not having enough staff on standby, which is causing a roughly 3% service shortage.

"In the past two weeks, I want to say it's been exacerbated by the number of cases of drivers that are sick. So we are experiencing some sort of delays," Julien said.

13 Action News was made aware of the issue after a regular rider said delays have made them late to work several times, causing them to be reprimanded.

The rider sent this email to our newsroom: "I leave extra early to avoid delays and I’m still late as of recently. I called RTC and get nothing but excuses . I’m reaching out on behalf of myself and the rest of the working force that takes RTC to and from work to please investigate what is going on before all of us lose our jobs...."

Officials with the RTC say customer complaints are taken very seriously, and they do have a plan in place to mitigate delays:

"There's a point when we're missing too many drivers and we just can't change routes, so we have to cancel some of the trips. What we're doing with our contractors, is the routes that are only running each hour, we're really, really prioritizing those. Obviously, we don't want anybody to be stranded that long of a time. So, we're really focusing on filling the routes where buses are not as frequent."

The RTC is also asking riders to be patient with bus drivers as they work to avoid any major delays.

"They're doing their best to connect our riders to places of opportunities, whether it's through their employment, grocery stores, etc. So, please be respectful to the drivers that are coming into work," Julien said.

The RTC is urging riders to download the RTC Ride App to keep up with any service delays, they are also encouraging bus drivers to apply for any open positions.

The RTC website has more information on delayed bus routes and job openings.

More on this story can be viewed below in Tuesday's Daily Debrief:

Dailey Debrief: Bus service delays due to COVID