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The Maryland Parkway and Flamingo bus stop, one of four that is close to campus, loads several passengers on a Friday afternoon (Photo/Jeffrey Meehan).
The Maryland Parkway and Flamingo bus stop, one of four that is close to campus, loads several passengers on a Friday afternoon (Photo/Jeffrey Meehan).

RTC to Offer Discounts to UNLV Students

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The Regional Transportation Commission will be offering a 50 percent discount to UNLV students that purchase long-term passes.

The RTC will be launching a program called U-pass for students who purchase monthly or semester-long passes from the RTC.

The discount will be offered through a pilot program, created by the RTC, to test the interest in ridership by UNLV students, general manager of the RTC Tina Quigley said at a groundbreaking event on April 4.

According to Amber Stidham from the public relations and media dvision of the RTC, stated that the program is scheduled to launch right before the fall semester begins, but the price has not yet been set.

The program was spawned from the future project currently underway on the UNLV campus, where a new bus stop is being built on campus and is scheduled to open in the fall.

The program was funded by a grant from the Federal Transportation Commission.

The RTC received $2.7 million from the grant for the $3.4 project. The RTC funded the rest of the project, which is 20 percent of the total cost.

The grant was originally applied for in 2010, following a study done in collaboration between UNLV and the RTC.

The study, done by Wilbur Smith and Associates, found a need for the new bus stop.

A groundbreaking event was held at the site of the new stop-behind the In-and-Out Burger, where lot U currently sits-on Apr. 4. Several speakers attended the event, including Rep. Dina Titus, Sen. Harry Reid and UNLV President Neal Smatresk.

According to Quigley, the station will have six bays, which UNLV will use for its on-campus shuttles.

Four bus routes currently surround the UNLV campus: route 201, which runs east and west on Tropicana; route 202, which runs east and west on Flamingo Road; route 108, which runs north and south and picks up at Swenson and Paradise; and route 109, which runs north and south on Maryland Parkway.

The four routes contain a total ridership of over 41,000, according to the study. The study also stated that 8,300 of those riders originated from the four stops surrounding UNLV. It is still unknown whether those passengers are UNLV students, according to the study.

The four routes currently run 24 hours except for the stop at Swenson and Paradise, which has no overnight service.

The project fits the needs of current students at UNLV, according to school officials.

“We have more non-residential students and more students from other countries than all the other universities in Nevada combined,” UNLV President Neal Smatresk said at the ground breaking event. “When they come here, they don’t have driver’s licenses,” Smatresk said.

The RTC gets its funding from a 9 cent fuel tax. The high efficiency of late model vehicles is reducing the amount of money collected from this revenue source, Quigley said.

According to Quigley, the RTC does not profit from the projects it creates.  The RTC only recovers around 20 percent of its expenses from its fares.

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