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RTC introduces TransitTap to ride the bus

Reported by: Jerry Brown
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Updated: 9/11/2013 11:19 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The Regional Transportation Commission has been in the news lately.

Recently RTC opened a new transit center at UNLV. This week they are introducing a new program to expedite the boarding process on some of their buses.

News 3's Jerry Brown headed down to UNLV to see what's new.

Boarding an RTC bus in our valley is about to become easier.

Yes, you still need exact change if you pay with cash but pulling out the long green is so... 20th Century.

Take Sarah Hunt, a UNLV freshman. She uses a university pass to commute to school on an RTC bus. Jingling change is definitely not one of her favorite sounds.

“I always hear people putting in quarters; it always delays the bus,” said bus rider Sarah Hunt. “Having the pass is faster and gets the bus on time.”

Getting busses around the valley on time, and avoiding the dreaded ‘dwell time' caused by slow ons and offs is why the RTC has started a new pilot program with an Asian electronics giant better known for its smart phones.

The new TapIt technology developed by Samsung makes getting on a bus a breeze.

“It's a public-private partnership together with Samsung ,and this is important because not only is it a minimal investment cost from the RTC's perspective to develop these programs, but it’s a great way to explore innovative technologies that might help improve our transit services,” said Amber Stidham of the RTC.

The Regional Transportation Commission's Amber Stidham says that Samsung's first-of-its kind boarding pass for mass transit is under review. Ultimately the bus riding public will decide its fate.

“If they like the ease of access, if they like this new technology, what we will do is we will reassess it after 90 days,” Stidham said.

Currently TransitTap is available only on the 24-mile Centennials Hills express route, which runs from the far northwest valley to the new UNLV Transit Center

“We have about 25,000 riders that ride this route every single month so it gives us a good idea, many different neighborhoods, many different types of riders to see if this is something they are interested in,” Stidham said.

The RTC is expecting interest in transit tap to be highest in one demographic in particular.

“There is a changing transit culture here in Las Vegas. We are starting to see younger riders start to use our transit system. I do see this as something the younger generation would like; a lot of them have smart phones; they are comfortable using the Internet and using new technology,” Stidham said.


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