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Las Vegas area traffic drops following start of 30-day shutdown

Updated March 21, 2020 - 4:02 pm

After Gov. Steve Sisolak essentially shut down the state for 30 days starting this week, traffic in Las Vegas has seen a major dip.

With many residents working from home, children off of school for several weeks and Las Vegas Strip shut down, vehicle traffic on Interstate 15 has fallen since Sisolak’s recommendation for people to stay home.

Traffic volume on I-15 at Flamingo was at 328,000 vehicles on March 11, but fell 23 percent to 252,000 vehicles on March 18, according to the Regional Transportation’s Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation, which monitors and controls traffic.

I-15 at Cheyenne saw 144,000 vehicles on March 11, decreasing 14 percent to 124,000 on March 18.

Vehicle traffic on southbound I-15 at Primm saw a 26 percent decrease, going from 35,000 vehicles on March 8 to 26,000 vehicles on March 15, according to FAST data.

The dip in traffic also is affecting ride hailing services, according to data from Nexar, an Israeli startup that RTC has partnered with in the past.

“We believe the drop in traffic volume is related to Gov. Sisolak’s mandate to our community to stay home and only go out for essential trips to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” said MJ Maynard, RTC CEO in an email. “In looking at the data, we believe our residents and visitors are staying home since nonessential businesses are closed… as a result, there is less traffic on our roadways.”

Nexar has been tracking the impact of the novel coronavirus on ride hailing activity in Las Vegas and those numbers are similar to what has been seen on I-15.

“Activity has been declining every day since March 13,” a Nexar statement said. “This is an unprecedented drop in mileage on Nexar’s network in Las Vegas.”

On March 17, drivers averaged 37 miles per driver, down 18 percent from 45 miles per driver on a typical Tuesday, Nexar’s data showed.

On March 18, the trend had worsened, with drivers traveling 33 miles per driver on average, down 26 percent from 45 miles per driver on a typical Wednesday.

These metrics are from 1,500 mostly ride hail drivers on the Nexar network in the Las Vegas valley.

“This demonstrates our community’s commitment to come together and #StayHomeforNevada,” Maynard said.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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