Game Day Express for Raiders games set to be mined heavily through grants

The Game Day Express that transports fans to and from Allegiant Stadium for Raiders games is expected to be largely funded by government grants.

Managed by the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission, Game Day Express buses transport Raiders fans to games, then return them to five area resorts: The M Resort, Green Valley Ranch, Red Rock Resort, Boulder Station and Santa Fe Station.

Documents submitted to Clark County show the RTC was initially to use 17 match-day buses that would carry a maximum of 1,277 passengers in each direction per game, or 12,270 runners per year for the Raiders’ 10 home games.

With a return express bus costing $ 4, the RTC would collect $ 49,080 from users using the service.

However, the RTC predicts that the cost of operating 17 buses for 10 events will total $ 152,606 per year. With costs expected to increase each year, the agency estimates its spending over five years at $ 810,204.

Francis Julien, deputy general manager of RTC, said increasing the price charged to passengers is not an option because the system is considered a residential route and federal regulations prohibit the RTC from charging more than its residential rate.

Julien noted that the projections of the RTC were made before he made any trips. Now, through the first two Raiders games, ridership has exceeded expectations.

“Now that the service has started, we have learned a few things,” said Julien. “For the Raiders games, the demand is higher than expected. However, given the schedule of the service, we have the possibility of making several trips with each bus. This was not taken into account in the initial projection.

For the Raiders’ first home game at Allegiant Stadium, Game Day Express buses carried approximately 3,250 passengers. For last week’s game, the system carried around 2,900 passengers. That compares to around 383 runners for the Golden Knights Game Day Express for an NHL game at T-Mobile Arena later in the day.

At $ 4 round trip, the RTC would have grossed around $ 24,600 for the Raiders’ two home games. Yet, as is the case with the bus system as a whole, most of the Game Day Express operations will be funded by grants.

“Public transport systems across the country operate on subsidies and this service is no different,” Julien said. “Other communities that provide these types of services are using similar types of local and federal funding to help provide mobility options, manage congestion, reduce vehicle miles and improve air quality in their communities. regions. “

The Clark County Council of Commissioners is expected to approve Tuesday up to $ 275,469 for the Game Day Express to help fund its operation for five years. The money will come from the county’s air quality transportation tax, as getting fans on buses takes vehicles off the road and therefore reduces emissions.

“These are people who would have otherwise driven their cars or taken an Uber or a Lyft, causing more congestion in already busy hallways,” said Julien.

The RTC will also contribute up to $ 275,469 in sales taxes and tariff revenue, while a federal contribution of $ 259,265 will represent the remainder of the planned total of $ 810,204 over five years.

With ridership exceeding expectations, Julien said RTC officials aren’t sure how many grants will be needed for the season.

“This is our first year of operation and we are not sure of the demand, so it is difficult to determine what the subsidy will be, as it depends on ridership and fare revenues,” said Julien.

Contact Mick Akers at [email protected] or 702-387-2920. To follow @mickakers on Twitter. Send your questions and comments to [email protected]

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