Bonneville Transit Center a hub

The Regional Transportation Commission continues to add to its routes and its park-and-ride facilities and transfer stations. Some residents are new to public transit, but new lines and amenities with rising gasoline prices have made it more attractive. This week, a couple readers had questions regarding the newer facilities.

A man dropped by the office Tuesday and asked this: Is there no parking at the new Bonneville bus station for regular cars? All I see are spaces reserved for handicap and hybrids.

This is true. Only 10 spaces are available at the Bonneville Transit Center in downtown Las Vegas. Of those, only two are for regular cars. Two are reserved for van or car pools, four are for vehicles with handicap placards, and two are strictly for hybrid vehicles. So, why build a transit center with no parking? This facility was designed to be a transfer hub, not a park-and-ride. The Regional Transportation Commission expected passengers who use the station to ride in on buses originating at park-and-rides or stops. The Bonneville terminal is now the main hub for express routes from Centennial Hills, Westcliff Drive, Boulder Highway and Henderson.

Robert had this: I have a couple questions about the Westcliff park-and-ride. Is the parking covered and how much does it cost?

Robert, the parking at the Regional Transportation Commission’s facility off Westcliff and Durango drives is not covered, but it also costs nothing, so that balances things out. The break on the parking costs is huge because this is a major station for the McCarran International Airport express route. Travelers can park at the facility for a week or longer, as long as the vehicle owner notifies security personnel inside the building. It is safe. A friend once parked there for a week, and when he returned and drove away, security called his cellphone to make sure it was indeed him driving the car.

Here are a few other quick facts about the park-and-ride: It takes an average of 42 minutes to reach the airport, there are 140 parking spaces at the facility, and the cost to ride the bus is $2.50 each way.

Speaking of buses, a reader from Texas asks: Coming from Texas by bus, is there a place at the dam to pull over and park to take pictures? A quick stop for those who have never seen Hoover Dam?

This is one that we have addressed before, but it’s worth repeating because not everybody from out of state knows the new layout of the Hoover Dam exits off U.S. Highway 93.

There is no access from the Arizona side of the Colorado River, so you do have to come into Nevada to view the dam — and the new Hoover Dam bypass bridge for that matter.

Once you cross the bridge, take State Route 172 down to the dam. According to the Bureau of Reclamation’s website, buses with luggage aren’t permitted at the dam. However, there is a parking area on the same stretch of roadway where you can hike up to the bridge and capture a wonderful view of the dam.

Remember, even if you were driving a car, through traffic no longer can get over the dam. Vehicles are permitted to cross to the Arizona side but then must turn around and come back to Nevada.

Donna questions water usage along roadways: I would like to know why on the same day I see Southern Nevada Water Authority commercial on TV advising us to conserve water, I see trees being planted in the Sahara Avenue median. If there is insufficient water for lawns, how is there water available for trees?

The trees that you see being planted, Donna, are all drought-tolerant trees that are approved by the water authority. Trees, but not shrubs or bushes, are in the transportation commission’s designs for Sahara Avenue, which is receiving a major face-lift to accommodate designated bus lanes and also to make it more attractive to pedestrians and motorists. “This is not only to improve public transit and transportation but to enhance the community as well,” said Tracy Bower, spokeswoman for the commission.

It is important to note that the water authority has a program to pay property owners to remove their grass, but they require them to replace it with something other than concrete. So, the commission is in line with what the authority recommends to save water but also preserve the attractiveness of the community.

If you have a question, tip or tirade, call Adrienne Packer at 702-387-2904, or send an email to roadwarrior@reviewjournal.com. Include your phone number.

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