RTC Bags $5 Million Federal Grant, Plans New Buses

RENO, NV - The RTC dedicated one of its new bus stations today and celebrated the arrival of a federal grant they say will help improve service even more.

The ceremony was the official dedication of the station at Liberty and Center, the latest of 14 such stations built.

With their electronic information boards, art work and covered waiting areas, the new stations are part of RTC's goal of better service for the riding customers. So are the big Rapid buses. Today's ceremony here was a celebration of both.

The ceremony brought the Obama Administration's top public transit official to Reno and he didn't come empty handed.

Federal Transit Administrator Pete Rogoff brought a big check, more than $5 million dollars. The money will put 10 new buses on local streets.

"It's going to help us replace some of our older buses in the fleet," says RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson.

"We're also going to look into getting buses that are going to be able to connect right in here," he said, pointing to the new station. "They will compliment the 60 foot Rapid buses.. It's also going to make the passenger experience a lot more efficient."

"The new buses are diesel electric hybrids. They'll lower fuel costs for RTC, but Rogoff says improving public transportation in the Truckee Meadows will also help local families' bottom line.

"It's really a great opportunity for the Obama Administration to deliver Washoe County's taxpayer money back on a project that's going to help economic growth in the area, but it's also going to help people keep that money in their pocket rather than hand it over to a gas station at $4 dollars a gallon."

We've seen the RTC forced to cut back on service in recent years, but Gibson said today, it's now holding its own. No more cutbacks are expected this year and with increased ridership and an improving economy, we may see expanded service in the near future.

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