RTC Partnership to Provide School Transportation

Target Audience: The target audience was comprised of high school students at 15 high schools in the Las Vegas valley. These students are those who meet requirements for existing school transportation.

Strategy Objective:The objective was to share information on program eligibility, as not all students could take advantage of the Ride On program. Those eligible for Ride On live no more than one mile from a designated RTC transit route stop and have direct access to their school (no bus transfers required). An additional objective was ensuring that students and parents felt safe using public transit. This required communicating about the more than $21 million in safety and security enhancements that the RTC has undertaken in recent years. Tactics included: - Virtual meetings for parents & students - A dedicated Ride On customer care line - Tailored flyers for each school - Toolkit in English & Spanish for parents, students & educators - Dedicated RTC website & blog - CCSD website - School websites

Situation Challenge: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries are facing workforce shortages. As students returned to in-person instruction in fall 2021, the Clark County School District (CCSD) quickly realized it was facing a shortage of bus drivers. This affected CCSD's ability to get students to school on time, ultimately affecting educational opportunities and performance. To address this issue, CCSD and RTC partnered to develop the Ride On program, where select high schools/students could use the RTC transit system, including the new on-demand microtransit service, at no cost to travel to and from school. This would shorten travel time while also offering participating students the freedom and flexibility to travel to other destinations around the valley throughout the school year.

Results Impact: By implementing this partnership, CCSD was able to redirect high school bus drivers to fill vacant positions for bus drivers to transport elementary and middle school students. This partnership has been successful with more than 1,500 passes distributed for students to take advantage of the program through the end of 2021. Based on our ridership data, CCSD students took 4,600 trips to and from schools in December. In addition, more than 500 trips were taken from students going to destinations beyond school. Even local media highlighted several success stories.

Why Submit: The RTC Ride On Program addressed a critical need that was affecting not only Southern Nevadans but also many other communities across the country. School districts were facing incredible hardships due to driver shortages, leaving students stranded at bus stops or missing learning time. We knew it was vital to support the school district as the public transit agency in Southern Nevada. This program was addressed a critical need within our community, while also introducing a new generation of riders to public transit. Through a robust education campaign, we not only helped get students to school, but also showed the value of public transportation in a community, while being a cost effective and environmentally conscious option.