KOLO-TV and the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) bring you a weekly news segment focused on transportation in the Truckee Meadows. “The Road Ahead with RTC” airs Tuesdays at 6:20AM during “Good Morning Reno” as well as Wednesdays in the 5:30PM half hour of KOLO 8 News Now at 5 and Thursdays between 11AM and noon during “Midday.” This weekly news segment features experts discussing a wide range of transportation projects, needs and solutions. Following each broadcast, webcasts of each interview will be available here on our website for at least one month. For more information about public meetings and RTC events: click here.

The Road Ahead With RTC

March 24, 2015:Silver State Mainline

The Silver State Mainline is a bus service independent of RTC that journeys from Doyle, California to Las Vegas. You can get on or off at many of the communities in between, and that includes at the Reno Greyhound stations or RTC CENTENNIAL PLAZA in Sparks. The bus stops in Doyle, CA, Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Fallon, Hawthorne, Tonopah, Beatty, Pahrump and Las Vegas. The stop in Hawthorne is also a meal stop. It’s the reverse route coming back from Las Vegas.

This service helps connect rural communities, and provides people a way to get throughout Nevada who may not have other transportation. It’s also great to sit back, relax and let someone else do the driving. You can enjoy many of the sights and rest on your trip too.

For more information go to SilverStateMainline.com or call 888-213-8330.

March 18, 2015:Air Quality

The Washoe County Air Quality Management District has an important campaign called Rack Em Up. Rack Em Up is promoted throughout the year to encourage active transportation, fitness, and emission reductions. Rack Em Up supports bicycle advocacy through outreach and special events. Now is a great time to think about tuning up your bike to get ready to ride this spring and prepare for Bike Week in May. Make sure the tires are inflated and not punctured. The gears might need some oil too. Make sure it’s in safe working condition, and you have bright colored clothing to wear. Always wear a helmet. You can also search for the RTC bike rack app in the Apple or Android store to help locate bike racks. Remember bikes need to obey the same traffic laws as cars and to use a bike lane if one is available.

March 10/17, 2015:Saint Patrick’s Day Free RIDE

The RTC is committed to the public’s safety in all that it does. The RTC is encouraging everyone to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day responsibly and never drive impaired. For the 12th year, the RTC is offering free transit services to provide safe transportation for people celebrating the holiday.

All regularly scheduled transit services will be free on St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 17 from 4 p.m. to midnight. Additionally, the downtown circular bus, the RTC SIERRA SPIRIT, will have extended hours. On a typical weekday, the service stops at 7 p.m., however on St. Patrick ’s Day it will operate until midnight.

To plan a trip, go to RTCWashoe.com and use the Google Transit feature on the homepage. There is also information on routes and schedules.

March 3, 2015:How Public Transit Operations Keeps You Safe

The RTC is responsible for streets and highways, planning and public transit. Safety is a priority in everything RTC does including Public Transit Operations. There are many procedures and policies RTC follows – that includes extensive training for the bus drivers. Drivers are constantly vigilant for pedestrians and train to operate buses even in severe weather. The buses themselves are also equipped with safety features – some buses have automatic tire chains that drop down when it’s snowy. RTC makes every effort to locate bus stops near crosswalks or intersections, but sometimes that’s not always possible. It’s important never to jaywalk even if you need to walk some distance to safely cross the street. Use sidewalks where they exist and don’t walk in the road.

While inside the bus, hold on to the rails and straps for support and always remain seated when the bus is in motion. Some of the buses actually lower themselves to the curb before letting passengers on or off – be sure to watch your step. Also, make sure any items you bring on to the bus are stored securely so they don’t move around when the bus is moving.

For more tips: StreetSmartNV.com.

February 24, 2015:Bus Station Designs

The 4th Street/Prater Way Bus RAPID Transit Project (Project) connects downtown Reno and Sparks with enhanced bus rapid transit (RTC RAPID) service, accessible sidewalks, and bike lanes. The improved access to education and employment for low income residents make this project highly supportive of economic competiveness, sustainability and quality of life.

In 2017, RTC will add four new electric buses to serve this route. The project includes new bus stations, and your help is needed to design what the stations will look like. Attend one of two open houses on March 3 at RTC 4TH STREET STATION and share your comments. There will be an open house from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and another from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Conceptual designs will be presented.

For more information on the project, go to 4thPrater.com

February 17, 2015:NDOT Pedestrian Safety Grant

NDOT will dedicate an additional $10 million in state highway funds for pedestrian safety improvements in Washoe and Clark Counties. The funding is part of ongoing programs to build stand-alone pedestrian safety improvements, as well as incorporate safety enhancements into road repaving and other projects. On an annual basis, NDOT dedicates approximately $21 million in federal highway safety funds to roadway safety projects and programs, many of which are built in coordination with local agencies.

These improvements include better crosswalks, lighting enhancements, pedestrian warning signals, concrete safety islands and dividers at certain pedestrian crossings and more. One of the planned projects will add a stoplight at North Virginia and Walt Streets near the Bonanza Casino in Reno to replace an existing signalized pedestrian crosswalk.

More info: StreetSmartNV.com.

February 10, 2015:Advisory Committees

RTC’s advisory committees provide valuable input on projects and transportation issues. The committees also provide a venue for the public to get concerns heard and addressed by RTC staff and their fellow citizens. Among the committees on which citizens may serve are the Citizens Advisory Committee and Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

The committees meet once a month in the RTC boardroom at 2050 Villanova Drive under the I-580 freeway. The Citizens Advisory Committee will meet Wednesday, February 4.

Many find it rewarding to be a part of the process that improves safety in the community as well as guides the future of transportation in Washoe County. Download an application at: RTCWashoe.com.

February 3, 2015:Reno Police and Safety

Every eight minutes a pedestrian is injured in an automobile accident. Crosswalks exist at any intersection, whether there are pavement markings or not. Always use the sidewalk and the nearest crosswalk, pedestrian bridge or tunnel when possible. Look left, right, and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross. Never walk suddenly into the path of a vehicle. Always make eye contact with drivers when crossing the street.

The Reno Police Department has a neighborhood contact team that will be knocking on doors to talk to people this week about being safe pedestrians. RPD is concentrating this effort in the North Valleys area, where there have recently been several incidents involving pedestrians.

January 27, 2015:Pedestrian Safety

RTC is part of the Zero Fatalities program, which means no lives lost on Nevada roads are acceptable. In 2014, twelve pedestrians were killed here in Washoe County. Pedestrian safety is everyone's responsibility.

Drivers should always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and make eye contact with them. Look before turning on a green light and wait for any pedestrians crossing. In the presence of a school crossing guard, wait for everyone, including the guard, to clear the street before proceeding.

Many accidents and fatalities can be prevented by being an alert pedestrian. Remember to always obey traffic control devices when crossing in the nearest crosswalk. Look left, right and left again when crossing. Make eye contact with drivers when crossing, and don’t be distracted by using or texting on your phone, or wearing ear-buds. Never allow young children to cross alone.

More safety tips: StreetSmartNV.com.

January 20, 2015:Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is part of Safe Kids Washoe County, and is a partnership between the Washoe County School District and the health district. RTC also provides funding. SRTS aims to teach kids safety habits to avoid injuries and get to school safely – whether it’s by walking, taking the bus or by bike.

Our programs focus on injury prevention for children. Accidental injury is the number one cause of death among children ages fourteen and under in the United States, and annually, one out of every four children needs medical attention for accidental injury.

Each year approximately 7,200 U.S. children are killed and at least 50,000 are permanently disabled by preventable injuries. Safe Kids Washoe County teaches everything from helmet safety to how to properly use safety restraints.

Go to SafeKidsWC to learn more.

January 13, 2015: Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian deaths are on the rise in Washoe County. The RTC is dedicated to enhancing safety and is a partner in the Zero Fatalities program – because no traffic deaths are acceptable.

Drivers should always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and make eye contact with them. Look right before turning on a green light and wait for any pedestrians crossing. In the presence of a school crossing guard, wait for everyone, including the guard, to clear the street before proceeding.

Many accidents and fatalities can be prevented by being an alert pedestrian. Remember to always obey traffic control devices when crossing in the nearest crosswalk. Look left, right and left again when crossing. Make eye contact with drivers when crossing, and don’t be distracted by using or texting on your phone, or wearing ear-buds. Never allow young children to cross alone.

Go to StreetSmartNV.com to learn more.

January 6, 2015:Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities

Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities is a collaborative that seeks to improve the health and wellness of the local community by connecting stakeholders and community members to a common mission. To begin a discussion about creating a culture of health in the Truckee Meadows, TMHC will host a one-day conference on January 8.

First lady Kathleen Sandoval will serve as honorary chair during the conference where nearly 200 community leaders will hear from national speakers on the topic of building healthier communities. The goal of the conference is to build an action plan that addresses local health problems and further engages the community to implement projects that build a healthy community.

Go to Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities to learn more.

December 30, 2014:30 Years for RTC New Year's Eve FREE Safe RIDE

The RTC is marking 30 years of helping people celebrate responsibly. The RTC New Year’s Eve FREE Safe RIDE program brings together community partners to cover the cost of providing free transit service. All RTC transit services will be free on New Year’s Eve night starting at 6 p.m. until 2 a.m.

In addition to providing a safe way for people to get home, it’s an opportunity for people to try out transit for the first time. Go to RTCwashoe.com and click on Schedules and Maps to plan a trip. You may also go to Google.com and type in Google Transit.

Our event partners include: Renown Health, the Northern Nevada DUI Task Force, KOLO 8, Wood Rodgers, Inc., Club Cal Neva, REMSA, Morrey Distributing, Reno Fire Fighters Local 731, the RSCVA and Visitors Authority, and Reno News & Review.

December 23, 2014:Share the Road License Plate

A specialty Nevada license plate supporting safe bicycle and pedestrian programs will be available for purchase through the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles beginning Dec. 1.

The specialty plate displays a “Share the Road” message and bicycle and pedestrian image. The plates will cost an initial $61 and $30 for renewal. Proceeds of $25 per plate will provide grant money for non-profit and government organizations to plan and construct bicycle and pedestrian facilities, as well as support bicycle and pedestrian safety, education and other programs. The grant funding will be awarded by the Nevada Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board and administered through the Nevada Department of Transportation.
The specialty license plates are available for purchase at Nevada DMV offices.

Further pedestrian and bicycle safety information is available at: BicycleNevada.com.

December 16, 2014:University of Nevada Master Plan

The University of Nevada, Reno Master Plan is a vision that will guide what’s to come at the University of Nevada, Reno and throughout the region. The plan helps further UNR’s goal of being recognized among the nation’s premier research universities and contributing to the economy and renaissance of our community. It also helps extend campus life south of the University and encourages development that’s complementary going toward downtown.

Reno is a University Town, anchored by a University ranked in the top tier of best national universities. This vision highlights that fact, and enhances the students’ experiences. Enrollment also continues to grow, and will reach 22-thousand students before 2021.

The University has been working very closely with the City of Reno and RTC to create a realistic vision. Partnering with RTC, the plan includes many transportation enhancements, including better accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists, and improved transit services.

To view the Virginia Street Corridor Plan, go to RTCWashoe.com and click on Planning.

December 9, 2014:Food for Fare

The RTC is teaming up with the Food Bank of Northern Nevada to help feed the hungry. Food for Fare is taking place on Thursday, December 11th and Friday December 12th. This annual drive enables people to pay for a fare with a donation of non-expired, non-perishable food. The donations go to the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, which helps ensure nutritious meals reach those in need. This annual event is one of the most importation drives of the year for the food bank. People who aren’t riding may also donate, by simply handing a donation to a coach operator at any bus stop.

The food bank helps more than 97-thousand people each month. It’s estimated one in four kids do not know where their next meal is coming from.

For more information, go to: FBNN.

December 2, 2014:Snow Routes

When the region receives a significant amount of snow, it can take a while for all the roads to be cleared. People should anticipate delays when it snows, and always leave early to give themselves extra time. Some roads might be too icy or snowy for buses, and they might have to detour around these locations.

Often RTC RIDE routes, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 15 and 17 are impacted during major snow storms. However, any route could potentially be affected, unable to serve all the streets and stops.

Riders may find out if their route is detoured by going to: RTCWashoe.com. They can sign up for MyRTC, which e-mails information about snow related detours automatically. Riders can also sign up to receive the information as a text message on their phones. Another option is to call 348-RIDE, which is the number for Passenger Services.

November 25, 2014:Know the Code

The Washoe County Health District’s Keep It Clean: Know The Code Program is back for the fall/winter season.

The Program informs Washoe County residents of the status of our air quality November through February, and lets them know if it’s safe and permissible to use their fireplaces or woodstoves. This information is provided daily on the ourcleanair website.

In the Truckee Meadows, wood burning accounts for nearly 50 percent of wintertime fine particulate pollution. The Green, Yellow, Red Burn Code program helps reduce harmful emissions that come from wood burning. This helps to keep air pollution levels from reaching levels that have adverse affects on peoples’ health, and to prevent further pollution emissions when air pollution has reached high levels.

Transportation is another large source of air pollution. Riding the bus, a bike, or car pooling can help reduce air pollution, especially during this time of year. All of our individual changes add up to keeping the air clean.

For more information, go to: Ourcleanair.com.

November 18, 2014:Stuff-a-Bus for Seniors

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County is asking for the community’s help to stuff a bus with new essential supplies for local seniors. Those making donations will receive a free skate rental for the ice rink at the Reno Aces ballpark.

Tuesday November 25th, from noon until 8 p.m., one of RTC’s new all-electric, zero emissions buses will be parked in front of the Aces ballpark. Members of the community are encouraged to help fill the bus throughout the day with items for seniors. The event takes place on the opening day for the ice rink at the stadium, and people are encouraged to drop off new items as they head to the rink for skating.
Some of the requested items include: slippers, lightweight sweaters, jackets and men’s/women’s pajamas, personal hygiene items (soap, tooth brushes and denture cleansers, etc.), bathroom towels and washcloths, small air circulation fans, adult diapers, grocery and pharmacy gift cards and transit passes.

This is part of the City of Reno’s Senior Giving Tree program. A tree at Reno City Hall will be decorated with gift tags with items listed for seniors in need. People are encouraged to buy those items and drop them off on the second floor of City Hall or at Evelyn Mount Community Center. The drive will be from Nov. 18 through Dec. 16. Washoe County Senior Services ensures these donations reach senior clients in the community.

November 11, 2014:SE McCarran Boulevard Widening, Second of Two Phases

The RTC is inviting members of the public to an informational open house on November 19th on the widening of SE McCarran Boulevard from Mira Loma Drive to Greg Street. It will take place at Dodson Elementary School from 4p.m. to 6 p.m. This is an opportunity for members of the public to learn more about the project, receive answers to their questions and find out how construction may impact their drive.

Within the project area, McCarran Boulevard is being widened from four to six lanes – three lanes in each direction. Traffic modeling shows this important project is needed to accommodate growth in the region. This is the second and final phase of the project. The first phase involved widening McCarran Boulevard from Longley Lane to Mira Loma Drive – it was finished in 2012.

In addition to adding vehicle travel lanes, the project involves construction of sound walls. Some deteriorating privacy screens will be replaced with more effective sound walls. The project will also add a multi-use path parallel to McCarran Boulevard from Longley Lane to Greg Street. The roughly 10-foot wide, paved path will be ideal for people biking and on foot. New sidewalks will be constructed at strategic locations to better connect people to the new path.

Work will begin in early December with full completion slated for late 2015. During construction, drivers should anticipate periodic lane closures and short delays. This phase of the project is about $31 million and is funded by local fuel tax and the Nevada Department of Transportation.

For more information, go to: RTCWashoe.com.

November 4, 2014:Washoe Senior Ride

Starting November 1st, the Washoe Senior Ride program is being expanded. This program enables seniors to take discounted taxi rides. Eligible seniors purchase coupons called taxi bucks. A $20 booklet of taxi bucks previously cost $15, however the price is being reduced to $10.

Previously, a person needed to be 65 or older to buy taxi bucks. Now they need to be 60 or older. An individual also needed to have a household income of less than $40-thousand a year. Now the income requirement will be $45-thousand or less a year. This means more people will be able to participate.

The program is also being opened to all Washoe County veterans regardless of age who meet the income requirements.

Participants must register for the program at the Washoe County Senior Center at 1155 E. 9th Street in Reno. They may also purchase taxi bucks at that location. Taxi bucks may be purchased by mail from RTC, and for instructions go to: RTCWashoe.com.

October 28, 2014:Free Transit on Election Day

To help voters more easily reach the polls, RTC is providing free transit services on Election Day. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

On Election Day, people must vote at their designated polling locations (not all polling locations are served by transit).
This helps all voters to participate – including voters who may have mobility issues. It’s also a great time for people who have never ridden on transit before to experience it for free.

To plan their trip, go to: RTCWashoe.com and click on System Map to see all the routes. Historically, free transit days are very popular with a fun atmosphere and a significant spike in ridership.

RTC encourages everyone to vote on November 4th.

October 21, 2014:Truckee Meadows Tomorrow

Truckee Meadows Tomorrow is a non-profit organization that is working to measure the quality of life in the region. For two decades now, Truckee Meadows Tomorrow has been monitoring various indicators of quality of life – everything from health care to education.
Transportation is paramount to the quality of life in the region. Having great transit helps people get to jobs, school and to visit friends and family. Through improvements, RTC is also creating more liveable communities that are better able to accommodate bicyclists, pedestrians and people who have disabilities.

Transportation and quality of life will be discussed at a luncheon on Oct. 29th. Everyone is welcome to come to the event, and a $10 donation is requested. The roundtable discussion will feature national, state and regional transportation representatives. The event is from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. and will be at RTC under the I-580 freeway off Villanova Drive in Reno.

For more information, go to: TruckeeMeadowsTomorrow.org.

October 14, 2014:I-580 Reconstruction Project

The Nevada Department of Transportation is beginning a project to reconstruct the pavement of I-580, which is also US 395. Some concrete slabs are more than 30 years old. The project will result in a smoother road surface in the southbound direction. Work will begin in autumn, with most roadwork starting in the spring. Most of the work will take place south of the Spaghetti Bowl between Glendale Avenue and Moana Lane.

There is not expected to be a major impact on traffic initially. However, by spring traffic will be moved to the opposite side of the road to accommodate reconstruction. There could be delays and drivers are encouraged to give themselves extra time.

In addition to the resurfacing in the southbound lanes, some northbound lanes will be resurfaced and select bridges seismically retrofitted. Improvements will also take place to make the area more accessible to everyone in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

For more information, go to: NevadaNDOT.com.

October 7, 2014:University Student Bus Passes

The Regional Transportation Commission has made getting around the region easy and affordable for students at Truckee Meadows Community College and the University of Nevada, Reno.

For registered UNR students, the Wolf Pass is available through the Parking and Transportation Services Department. TMCC registered students may purchase a TMCC bus pass through the Cashier’s Office, which is formerly the Controller’s Office, on the third floor of the Red Mountain Building on the Dandini campus.

The TMCC bus pass or Wolf Pass for fall 2014 is valid from July-December and costs $115. The pass is also being offered for spring 2015 for $115, valid from January-June. Wolf Pass and TMCC bus pass users may take unlimited trips during the time the pass is valid on all local RTC RIDE transit services. Upgraded passes cost $150 and include trips on RTC INTERCITY, which is the commuter transit service linking Reno and Carson City.

The passes are designed as a convenient and affordable alternative to driving a personal vehicle – they also spare students from looking for parking. For many, the pass may be more affordable than paying to gas up a personal vehicle and commuting to campus.

For more information on the passes, go to: RTCWashoe.com/public-transportation-17-12.

September 30, 2014:Extended Hours for Sierra Spirit

Football season is here! RTC can give you a ride to and from the games! When Nevada has a home night game, the Sierra Spirit will have extended hours. The service links the downtown area to campus. Typically it operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. However, for night home games the service will continue to operate until midnight. Buses come every 15 to 20 minutes, and the fare is 25 cents or 10 cents for those qualifying for a reduced rate.

September 23, 2014:Sparks Boulevard Corridor Study

RTC is studying the Sparks Boulevard Corridor from Pyramid Way to Greg Street. This study examines how to improve safety and make the area accessible to everyone under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The study will also consider how to make the area more accommodating for all forms of transportation including: bikes, vehicles and on foot.

Members of the public are invited to come share their ideas, and meet with RTC staff at an open house. The open house will take place at Reed High School at 1350 Baring Boulevard on Thursday, October 2nd from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information, go to: RTCWashoe.com and click on Planning.

September 16, 2014:West 4th Street Improvements

In partnership with NDOT, the Regional Transportation Commission has recently completed improvements to West 4th Street between I-80 and McCarran Boulevard. Slurry seal treatment was applied as part of RTC’s Regional Pavement Preservation Program. This program results in the roadway lasting twice as long, and saves on costly reconstruction down the line – protecting our investment.

New pavement stripes were also created. This enables more room for bicyclists – and bicyclists have already expressed appreciation for the work. Lanes were also narrowed, which will likely calm traffic. A traffic study will measure the effectiveness of the improvements.

The area is part of the popular Verdi bike loop and Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway. The enhancements are aimed at improving safety for everyone.

To learn more about the benefits of the Regional Pavement Preservation Program, go to: RTCWashoe.com and click on Streets and Highways.

September 9, 2014:Free Mobility Travel Training

In partnership with the Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living, the RTC provides free mobility travel training. Transit is an affordable, safe and convenient way for seniors to maintain their independence. However, for new riders who have mobility issues, it can sometimes be intimidating – that’s why the RTC provides this training.
Mobility travel training emphasizes safety while building confidence. Seniors are able to practice using ramps and lifts for loading wheelchairs onto a RTC RIDE bus. Instructors are also on-hand to help explain how to read bus schedules, plan trips and answer questions.
Through a long-standing partnership with the Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living, free mobility travel training is offered by appointment throughout the year. To make an appointment, call: (775) 353-3599.
For more information on mobility training, go to: http://www.rtcwashoe.com/public-transportation-17-15.html
For more information, go to: Mobility Travel Training

September 2, 2014:Sun Valley Corridor Study

The RTC is studying how to make Sun Valley Boulevard more accessible to vehicles, transit, pedestrians and bicyclists. An open house event is planned for Thursday, Sept. 4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the public to provide feedback and for RTC staff to answer questions. The open house will take place at the Sun Valley Community Center at 115 W. 6th Avenue in Sun Valley.
The study examines Sun Valley Boulevard from Scottsdale Road to Highland Ranch Parkway, and the area between Yukon Drive and Chocolate Drive.
Based on input from members of the public at a previous design workshop and open house, proposed improvements and streetscape alternatives have been developed. The September open house is an opportunity for people to share their opinion on the concepts.
For more information, go to: SunValleyBlvd.com

August 26, 2014:Senior Fest

Health screenings, giveaways and lots of entertainment! The 19th Senior Fest is taking place at the Reno Town Mall on September 2nd from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature free mobility travel training from the RTC. This is an opportunity for seniors to practice boarding a RTC bus – there will also be instructors to help seniors plan trips and answer questions.
Additionally, the event features free health screenings. People can be tested for diabetes and have their blood pressure checked. Flu and Pneumonia shots are also offered. There will be more than 60 booths with information and fun activities.
Senior Fest also includes live musical performances and great food to taste! Don’t miss out!
For more information, go to: Senior Spectrum

August 19, 2014:SEC Phase One Substantial Completion

The first of two phases of the SouthEast Connector project is substantially complete. Phase one is about one mile of the overall 5.5 mile roadway. RTC began construction on phase one in February 2013. Some small finishing touches will continue to take place during the next month. Phase one was finished about six months ahead of schedule.
RTC used an advanced drill shaft equipped with sensors to analyze the soil. This was the first time this technique has been used on a public works project in Nevada, saving the taxpayers about one-million dollars. The project is funded through voter-approved RTC-5.
The SouthEast Connector will provide congestion relief on many local roadways. It’s needed not just to accommodate future growth, but today’s traffic load. The project will also benefit the environment, including through habitat restoration and enabling the region to return to more of a natural floodplain. It does not increase flooding in developed or developable lands.
Phase two is expected to begin in autumn, with the entire roadway completion projected for late 2016 or early 2017. The road will be named Veterans Parkway when it opens. Until full completion, members of the public should remain out of the project site for safety.
For project updates, go to: SouthEast Connector.com

August 12, 2014:Keystone Avenue Open House

RTC has been studying Keystone Avenue and the surrounding area. The study involves Keystone both north and south of I-80. Goals include both finding ways to improve mobility and enhancing safety. Working with the public, RTC has learned more about the challenges for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians, and how to address them.
The public has already provided some ideas such as: lengthening a left turn lane for traffic going onto Kings Row. Proposed improvements near that intersection would also provide better access for bicyclists. RTC is also considering adding a bike lane to Vine Street, which is parallel to Keystone, but doesn’t have as much traffic.
The public is invited to consider recommended improvements, and provide feedback. An open house event is scheduled for Thursday, August 21st at Peavine Elementary School from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 1601 Grandview Avenue in Reno. A brief introduction will take place at 5:15 p.m.
More information on the Keystone Avenue Corridor Study is available on: RTCWashoe.com Click on Planning.

August 5, 2014:SouthEast Connector Update

The first of two phases of the SouthEast Connector project is nearly complete. The first phase is construction of the roadway from Sparks Boulevard and Greg Street to about 800 feet south of Clean Water Way. It involved the construction of two bridges – Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Truckee River and the Clean Water Way Bridge. Phase one was constructed in order to facilitate safe, convenient access over the Truckee River from I-80 to the rest of the project corridor.
Even though phase one is scheduled for completion in August, the roadway will not be open until both phases are finished. Completion of the full 5.5 mile road is anticipated in late 2016 or early 2017. It’s very important people stay out of active construction zones for their own safety.
The SEC project will provide many recreational opportunities when completed. Not only will it relieve traffic congestion, a multi-use path will parallel the entire road. This will allow bicyclists, walkers and runners to safely travel between Sparks and south Reno. People will also be able to connect to other trails in the area.
Additionally, the SEC offers substantial benefits to the environment. Right now water from floods doesn’t spread out over the floodplain. This creates fast-moving water and erosion. The SouthEast Connector helps the floodplain return to more of a natural state, and will address these problems.
For updates on the SEC, and to learn more about the project’s benefits, go to: SouthEast Connector.com

July 29, 2014:Coordinated Human Services Public Transit Plan

Transportation is important to get people to places they need to go, such as jobs, doctor appointments and grocery stores. The intent of the Coordinated Human Services Public Transit Plan is to bring together human service agencies and transportation providers to deliver efficient, coordinated services to the region’s senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and those who are financially disadvantaged. It helps RTC find ways to best address their needs, and determine which services are the biggest priorities to our community – so RTC can allocate federal funding.
The senior population is expected to grow in Washoe County 70 percent between now and 2035. RTC is expecting a big increase in demand for services, including paratransit – a door-to-door transit service for people who have disabilities. RTC wants to be proactive and be ready for the coming challenges. The plan also helps identify existing gaps in service.
The plan is currently being updated, and input from the public is welcome and needed. Everyone is invited to a meeting at the Washoe County Senior Center August 7th from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
For more information on the Coordinated Human Services Transit Plan go to: RTCWashoe.com

July 22, 2014:RTC-5

Voters sent a message that having a strong transportation system is important to them in 2008 when they approved RTC-5. RTC-5 is not a new tax. The measure allows for fuel tax indexing, which means fuel tax is adjusted to keep up with the rate of inflation. In addition to overwhelming voter support, the measure was approved by state lawmakers and the Washoe County Commission – it became effective in 2010.
RTC-5 ensures important transportation projects are built in Washoe County, and purchasing power is not eroded by inflation. RTC-5 will help fund improvements soon at the intersection of Pyramid Way and McCarran Boulevard. It has already helped improve Moana Lane and West Plumb Lane. It’s also funding construction of the SouthEast Connector. In addition to funding RTC projects, it helps municipalities pay for projects to keep roads from deteriorating.
As a direct result of RTC-5, traffic jams have been reduced. It’s also created many construction jobs, and will continue to do so.
Generally, fuel tax revenues are declining as people drive less and vehicles become more fuel efficient.
For more information on improvements happening in Washoe County, go to: RTCWashoe.com and click on Streets and Highways.

July 15, 2014:Mt Rose Highway Improvements

Meg Ragonese, Public Information Officer for the Nevada Department of Transportation, tells us about some big improvements happening on the Mount Rose Highway.
Meg says NDOT is making good progress on a project to improve the Mount Rose Highway, which is also State Route 431. The work includes repaving and creating better roadside drainage from the Mount Rose junction in south Reno all the way to the summit.
NDOT is repaving at the optimum and most cost-effective time before pavement deteriorates too much, and will be adding 18-thousand linear feet of guard rail and safety rumble strips in areas. NDOT is also adding hillside mesh to help prevent rocks from tumbling into the roadway.
People should plan for delays with single lane closures of up to 30 minutes. The project will finish in autumn.
Drivers should pay attention, follow the speed limit and be sure to obey traffic controls.
Be sure to visit RTC WASHOE dot COM and join RTC on Facebook and Twitter.

July 8, 2014:Bike Rack App

RTC has a new app to help people find bike racks.
The app lets bicyclists tell each other where bike racks are located. People who use the app just take a picture of the rack, and those go on a map for other bicyclists to find.
This app also helps with future planning for bike racks.
People can also take pictures of where they think bike racks ought to be located. The information is sent to RTC, which will be able to tell if certain locations get a lot of requests.
The free app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android. Just search for “RTC Bike Rack” to get it on your device. It's already available.

July 1, 2014:Truckee River Trail Reopening

Garth Oksol, RTC project manager, explains a path is reopening.
Part of the Truckee River Trail in Sparks was closed in early 2013 to allow for construction of the Southeast Connector. This was the portion from Cottonwood Park to Larkin Circle. Now, construction is far enough along to reopen it.
The location of the trail is a little different at one point. RTC brought the trail under the new Veterans Memorial Bridge, which gives bicyclists and pedestrians a great opportunity to see the progress made on the Southeast Connector.
There’s also new lighting under the bridge and near the trail’s connection with Greg Street – that helps enhance safety.
RTC is also reopening a path along Sparks Boulevard. This will help people get to both the Legends and Sparks Marina.
Be sure to visit RTC WASHOE dot COM and join RTC on Facebook and Twitter.

June 24, 2014:Blue Ribbon Committee

RTC is forming a Blue Ribbon Committee to examine unmet transit needs. Public Affairs Administrator Michael Moreno says the Blue Ribbon Committee for transit is made up of influential business and community leaders. They’ll be coming up with ideas on how to implement the region’s vision for transit, which is not funded at this time. The vision for transit identifies unmet transit needs here in the community – and it was developed by the public as part of RTC’s 2035 Regional Transportation Plan. People also told us they want more transit at the Transit Connections 2013 summit held recently. The Blue Ribbon Committee will meet monthly. By early next year, the committee will make recommendations to the RTC Board of Commissioners on how to achieve the region’s vision for transit.
Be sure to visit RTC WASHOE dot COM and join RTC on Facebook and Twitter.

June 17, 2014:Sun Valley Corridor Study

Roger Hanson, RTC project manager, addresses the future of the Sun Valley Boulevard Corridor.
Roger says RTC is looking at ways to improve transportation options for all users of Sun Valley Blvd whether it be by auto, bus, bicycle or on foot. In February, RTC shared with the community a look at existing conditions, and received their comments.
Now, RTC wants to sit down with Sun Valley residents in a workshop to help design the improvements they want to see. Residents can then tell RTC about their preferred design at an open house later that week.
Sun Valley residents are invited to Hobey’s casino, from 6 in the evening until 8. The design workshop is June 23rd. The open house is on June 26th.
Go to: Sun Valley B-l-v-d dot com to learn more, and for your opportunity to weigh in.
You can also visit RTC WASHOE dot COM and join RTC on Facebook.

June 10, 2014:Dump the Pump

RTC Public Information Officer Joe Harrington tells us about the 9th Annual Dump the Pump Day, Thursday, June 19th. RTC is offering free rides on its transit services. It’s an event sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association to encourage the public to leave the car at home and ride transit instead to help the environment.
With gas prices rising, dumping the pump saves on fuel costs. It also spares your vehicle from wear and tear. On average, people can save almost $10,000 per year by using transit. Riding the bus also gives you some extra time to or from work when you can check e-mails, do some reading or text legally.
You can take part by riding the bus, bicycling, walking or even carpooling. Call 348-RIDE or visit rtcwashoe.com for routes and schedules to plan your trip. There are also incentives for participating by recording your “green trips” at rtcwashoe.greenride.com.

June 3, 2014:Positively 4th Street

The RTC recently completed a study on how to improve transportation for everyone along the 4th Street / Prater Way corridor along with a history project of the corridor.
Local historian Alicia Barber says RTC wants to improve this corridor to make transportation more convenient and safe for everyone. RTC has been talking with a lot of people in this area. And as a result of those conversations RTC is planning improvements, like designated bike lanes, wider sidewalks and more transit options.
She says 4th Street includes what’s left of a railway depot that was constructed in 1910. It’s just one of the historic locations people can check out as part of the 4th Street/Prater Way History Project. Just download the free mobile app Reno Historical or visit the website, renohistorical.com, to see the history.
A3: On June 14th, the Positively 4th Street event will be take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. This street fair will also feature historical bike, walking and bus tours. The bus tour will even be given on a RTC retro-style bus.

May 27, 2014:Preventive Maintenance

RTC engineer Scott Gibson says RTC’s preventive maintenance program covers about 200 lane miles of pavement each year. A highlight this year is West 4th Street, which the RTC is doing in cooperation with NDOT, to provide bike lanes on this cycling route. Other projects can be found on rtcwashoe.com.
Gibson says these thin surface treatments – slurry seals and micro surfacings – literally slow down the aging process of the roadways in our high desert climate. Regular maintenance extends the life of a roadway, protecting our investment and reducing costs for reconstruction in the future. They also provide a blank palette to restripe the road to improve safety and provide space for other users such as pedestrians and bicyclists.
There is a weekly schedule online; visit rtcwashoe.com and look for Preventive Maintenance under the streets and highways/road projects section.

May 13, 2014:Sand Harbor Weekend Transit Service

Roger Hanson, RTC Senior Transit Planner, says weekend bus service begins Memorial Day Weekend and lasts through Labor Day. Fares will be $5 for adults and $2.50 for seniors, youth and people with disabilities. The fare includes entry into the park, too.
Reno pickup and drop-off locations are at the RTC transfer station at Meadowood Mall and at the Summit Mall in the south parking lot.
The service is made possible with federal funding from the Federal Highway Administration. More details and schedule information are available at rtcwashoe.com; click on Hot Topics.

Apr. 22, 2014:Plumb Lane Project

The RTC has finished its work on Plumb Lane and is celebrating this neighborhood enhancement project. It had been underway since last summer and RTC has just completed the striping and landscaping. This portion of Plumb Lane between Ferris and McCarran has a new road, new sidewalks, a new multi-use path and new water lines and drainage facilities.
RTC wants to thank all the residents and commuters of the corridor for their patience, support and participation to bring this neighborhood enhancement project to completion.
For information about RTC projects and programs visit RTCWASHOE.com and join it on Facebook and Twitter.

Apr. 15, 2014:RTC Ridership

March 10th, the American Public Transportation Association announced Americans took 10.7 billion transit trips last year… the highest in 57 years! The RTC says with our economy improving, our area is seeing increases in ridership. Overall, we saw a 1% increase in 2013 with some routes having higher increases.
The RAPID service has anywhere from a 12 to 14% increase. TMCC pass rides are up 20% over last year. TMC is working to make transit more convenient with RAPID service to UNR and starting this summer, weekend service to Sand Harbor. With 8.10 million rides this past year, our community is using public transportation to get to work, school and other great places.
Transit service on Virginia Street supports over 45k jobs along the corridor. For every $1 invested in public transportation approximately $4 is generated in economic returns.

Apr. 8, 2014:RTC Electric Buses

The RTC is expanding its fleet, with four brand-new battery-electric buses, made possible with a federal grant from the Federal Transit Administration. These buses are designed to provide savings the RTC can invest back into its transit program, with lower fuel and maintenance costs.
Savings are designed to be anywhere from $300k to $600k in maintenance costs and over $430k in fuel costs for each electric bus over the life of each vehicle. And with ZERO EMISSIONS, the RTC is working to protect our air quality.
Throughout the day while each bus is in service, it pulls into the 4th Street Station and charges within 5-10 minutes using the FastFill Charging Station while passengers load and unload.

Mar. 18, 2014:RTC Ride Service Change Proposals

Two proposals for changes are coming: summer weekend service from Meadowood Mall to Sand Harbor at Lake Tahoe and rerouting the RTC SIERRA SPIRIT south of the Truckee River to Liberty Street.
The public suggested the Tahoe route during the update of the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan. We’re creating new transit opportunities for the region using federal funds for a 3-year demonstration project.
The RTC Board will review these proposals and make a decision. We will notify the public through our media partners, our website and on Facebook.
For more information, visit rtcwashoe.com.

Mar. 4, 2014:RTC Vandalism

RTC buses have recently been the target of vandalism. RTC Director of Public Transportation David Jickling talks to us says to report vandalism or RTC property, call 348-RIDE.

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