A single bus is being used as the test case for streaming live footage from surveillance cameras to Metropolitan police during emergencies, officials with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada said Friday.
The pilot program was initiated after police could not see a gunman barricaded inside an RTC bus during a lengthy standoff that brought traffic to a halt along the Strip on March 25.
RTC officials said they are examining the reliability of linking wireless internet access and surveillance cameras that already exist on the agency’s fleet of more than 400 buses.
The bus that’s being tested primarily operates on Route 206, which runs along Charleston Boulevard between Downtown Summerlin and Sloan Lane in the east valley, said Carl Scarbrough, the RTC’s director of technical equipment and transit amenities.
“We are working with Metro to make sure the system meets their needs,” Scarbrough said. “Upon successful completion of the test phase, we anticipate we will launch a fleet-wide installation of the equipment.”
Scarbrough said he has not scheduled a target date to equip the RTC’s fleet with live camera access for Metro police. The RTC is also searching for an alternative material that will allow for better visibility for buses encased in advertisements.
During the March standoff, a giant vinyl advertisement covered the windows of a double-decked Deuce bus parked in front of The Cosmopolitan during a standoff that lasted nearly four hours.
The suspect, Rolando Cardenas, could see outside the shaded windows, but police could not see him.
About three hours into the standoff, police used a flash-bang device to break the windows and placed a robot inside the bus. The robot confirmed the suspected shooter was still inside, but Cardenas tossed it out the bus and remained barricaded. He was later arrested without incident.
Contact Art Marroquin at email@example.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @AMarroquin_LV on Twitter.
RTC bus advertisements
Giant advertisements for Las Vegas hotels, shows and shops have wrapped Strip buses since 2005. The ads, made from vinyl film, generate about $2 million annually — enough to cover about 2 percent of the RTC’s service costs.