Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | 1:55 a.m.
Beyond the Sun
Why drive to work when you can sit back, relax and eat a doughnut?
That’s the argument the Regional Transportation Commission is making as it asks Las Vegans to participate in the national Dump the Pump day Thursday.
To try to help lure drivers out of their cars and onto public buses, the RTC will be offering free Krispy Kreme doughnuts from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. — or until they are gone — at the commission’s four park-and-ride facilities.
“Being able to have somebody else drive opens up so many new things that you can do on your way to work, whether it’s just play games and have some down time or start attacking your email inbox,” Deputy General Manager Tina Quigley said.
The sixth annual Dump the Pump day is organized by the American Public Transportation Association with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The groups argue that using public transit will help the environment and help commuters save money.
Despite somewhat falling gas prices, the American Public Transportation Association said Las Vegas motorists could save an average of $773 a month, or $9,276 a year by using public transit.
The association said one person switching to public transit reduces carbon emissions more than 4,800 pounds per year.
The RTC has been increasing its efforts in converting commuters in Las Vegas to use the bus system, primarily by launching a small network of express buses that connect the bedroom neighborhoods in the northwest, west and southeastern parts of the valley to downtown and the resort corridor.
Transit officials hope the reminder of the cost and pollution savings from using buses — and the free donuts — will encourage more people to give the system a try.
“If we can get people to try transit one, we’re probably going to get them back as transit riders,” Quigley said. “Maybe not on a daily basis, but if we can break through that first ride, I think they’ll recognize that there really is some quality of life advantage to taking transit, especially if you’re in the express lanes.”
In addition to the donuts, the RTC will have representatives at the park-and-ride locations to talk about the Club Ride program, which helps commuters find alternative ways to get to work and rewards people who use transit, walk, bike or carpool.
The event will take place at:
• Centennial Hills Transit Center and Park & Ride, 7313 Grand Montecito Parkway in near U.S. 95 and Durango Drive.
• Westcliff Transit Center and Park & Ride, 25 S. Durango Drive, next to the Summerlin Parkway.
• Suncoast Casino, 9090 Alta Drive, near Rampart Boulevard.
• South Strip Transfer Terminal, 6675 S. Gilespie Street near Sunset Road and Las Vegas Boulevard.