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RTC gets $40.4M federal allocation for Virginia Street Project (2019)

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Regional Transportation Commission has received an allocation of $40.4 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration.

RTC says this "signals a significant step on the path toward obtaining a grant agreement for the Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Projectfrom the FTA under the Capital Investments Grants Program which provides funding for major transit infrastructure capital investments nationwide that will improve mobility and access for the businesses, workforce and university students who depend upon public transit every day."

“This allocation would not have come to fruition without the regional leadership and commitment of the RTC Board including its current and past chairmen, Washoe County Vice Chairman Bob Lucey, Sparks Mayor Ron Smith and Reno Councilwoman Neoma Jardon, who have had the vision and dedication to deliver projects that meet the transit and transportation, safety and economic development needs of the region,” says RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson. “This project has been a multiple-year initiative the RTC has been working on in partnership with and through the leadership of our congressional delegation, FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams and the FTA. I also want to thank RTC commissioners Vaughn Hartung, Washoe County Chairman and Oscar Delgado, Reno Councilman for their support and leadership to deliver regional projects that benefit our community.”

The RTC recently completed the first phase of construction, which involved the upgrading of aging utilities infrastructure in Virginia Street in Midtown. The RTC will begin construction in June 2019 to update Virginia Street in Midtown with new sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and a new road configuration to improve safety for all road users.

In 2020, the RTC will start construction at the northern terminus of the project around the University of Nevada, Reno. The 1.8-mile project limits within the Virginia Street corridor includes the addition of five RAPID bus stations and two electric buses which will operate on the RAPID Virginia Line, creating connectivity from Meadowood Mall to Midtown Reno and the University of Nevada, Reno. This project is designed to "enhance safety, support economic development, and improve livability and access to jobs in the corridor."

“In a state as expansive as ours, having efficient and reliable transportation infrastructure is one of the most important elements in creating a thriving, job-creating economy,” says Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV2). “These critical investments in our district will improve current infrastructure to help the traveling public move as safely and efficiently as possible. I welcome the Department of Transportation’s commitment to Nevada’s regional transit projects and thank Secretary Chao and Acting Administrator Williams for their support in securing funding for this much-needed extension project.”

“Investing in infrastructure is critically important to helping support Reno, which continues to experience unprecedented growth. I’m thankful to the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County for providing viable transportation options for residents and supporting northern Nevada’s expanding communities,” says US Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV). “These funds will pave the way for the completion of crucial expansion projects that will help northern Nevada to implement a smart and sustainable transportation plan. I will continue to do my best to secure federal funding for economic development projects so that our cities can adapt to the growth they are experiencing.”

“The Federal Transit Administration’s grant of over $40 million will provide the critical funding needed for RTC Washoe to complete their exciting Reno Virginia Street Project. By expanding RAPID bus services to the University of Nevada, Reno, this project will help stimulate Midtown Reno’s economy, keep pedestrians safe and provide residents and students alike with a reliable, fast public transportation option. I will continue to support the important work RTC Washoe is doing to help Northern Nevada innovate, grow and thrive," says US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

RTC Chairman Bob Lucey says, “On behalf of the RTC Board and staff, I want to thank our project partners the University of Nevada, Reno, City of Reno, Nevada Department of Transportation, community stakeholders and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration for their input, collaboration, and support of the Virginia Street Project.”

The project is funded with local fuel tax revenue and federal funds.

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