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A Commuter’s Perspective:

A Non-Traditional Student View

Reporting and Photos by Suzanne Morales

· Suzanne Morales,Parkway,Services,Transportation,Maryland Parkway

An RTC commuter peruses through a magazine, July 20, 2018 Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Suzanne Morales

Las Vegas, NV - Every morning when I wake up, it’s not that I’m thankful for another day, but I am forever grateful for the Regional Transportation Commission. When I decided to take a few summer classes at UNLV, I knew I’d have the privilege of taking several routes towards higher education. I also knew my schedule would change like so many others here in Las Vegas, too. It’s not the waking early to arrive on time to my destination, it’s the unpredictable wait times, and rising heat index.

On my daily commute, between walking, waiting in the heat, and more often than not longer wait times I find myself still grateful for the RTC which provides public transit for not only myself, but for thousands of Las Vegans daily. While the first stretch of my daily commute is shorter than most, paying for a 24-hour bus pass comes with it’s own stipulations. In doing so, we commuters are allowed the amenities of Wi-Fi that’s provided by the RTC as we enjoy our ride towards our destination.

A 109 bus stop along Maryland Parkway. July 20, 2018, Las Vegas, NV. Photo by Suzanne Morales

Many of the riders like myself include blue-collar workers, traditional, and nontraditional students like myself; however, there is a sprinkling of many homeless and veteran commuters, too. The centennial express takes many directly towards UNLV main; however, if time permits many commuters have the option to take the Maryland Parkway route 109. While on the route 109 Maryland Parkway, not only are there residents that live off of Maryland Parkway; moreover, there are many who are reliant on public transit. I think the difficulty lies on the dependability of the RTC which oftentimes is quite unreliable. As a commuter, there are varying degrees of wait times. In the harsh summer times many of us wait in the direct heat as a result it causes commuters to not only be irritable but dehydrated which can causes disastrous effects in the lingering summer months.

An RTC commuter patiently waits for the bus along Maryland Parkway,  July 20, 2018, Las Vegas, NV. Photo by Suzanne Morales

More often than not many of the bus routes are late and if they aren’t late they are early and it is very difficult maintaining a schedule that reflects the arrival of whatever bus a local Las Vegan takes. In my case more often than not I’ve been waiting up to 45 minutes for the next bus to arrive. Due to construction issues, the surrounding areas are cause for concern due to being forced for even longer wait times due to terrible road conditions, potholes, and jaywalkers.

As a working non-traditional college student. I’m reliant on the RTC. Many times, I leave class early to make it on time to work. With upcoming plans for the light rail on Maryland Parkway, it may put Las Vegans schedules on a better time frame; however, with the effects of residence, small businesses, and those who take public transit in limbo the effects outweigh any other possibility for change. Not only in gentrifying the area, the main concern lies towards the residents of Maryland Parkway.

Will they be forced out due to the new and upcoming changes? More importantly, what does this mean for those who are seeking higher education like myself? Overall, by proposing this million-dollar deal, it may be a mistake in the eyes of residents, but what about the future of Las Vegas?

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