RTC RIDE service and ridership has outgrown the capacity of the RTC CITICENTER transit center in downtown Reno. Bus overcrowding has caused coaches to be backed up beyond the boundaries of the transfer facility making it more difficult for passengers transferring between routes. With the population of the Truckee Meadows expected to double in the next thirty years, the existing facility is inadequate to handle projected growth. The RTC through the 2030 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) has set a goal to triple ridership on public transit from its current level of 2% of all passenger trips taken on roadways to 6%. To alleviate these problems and prepare for future growth, the RTC, in cooperation with the city of Reno has initiated this project.
To meet the growing needs of transit customers, numerous potential sites were studied. Based on facility requirements, technical analysis, and public input, the RTC Board determined the site is best suited for relocation and expansion of the transit center. RTC 4TH STREET STATION is a 2.5 acre site located on the block between Lake Street, Evans Avenue, 4th Street, and Plaza Street (including Plaza Street right-of-way), adjacent to the Reno Aces baseball stadium under construction.
The RTC Board selected this preferred site in May 2001. The RTC Board, in May 2004, authorized staff to proceed with property acquisition upon completion of site investigation studies.
The new transit center is primarily funded by federal dollars with a local match from the RTC. The project will cost approximately $37 to $38 million dollars.
Construction will take approximately 15 months. RTC 4TH STREET STATION is anticipated to open in 2010.
The former bus transfer facility in the RTC RIDE system, RTC CITICENTER at 4th and Center Streets in Reno, was opened in 1987 and served more than 8,000 daily transit passengers. RTC CITICENTER could accommodate up to 14 buses at a time and provided passenger waiting areas, bus pass sales, public restrooms, mature landscaping in a park-like setting, and offices for transit and security personnel.
In addition to to the more standardized components of an effective transit center—e.g., information booths/counters, benches, drinking fountains, shelter facilities—the RTC is also exploring the possibility of including other services at the transit center. The RTC will seek partners to develop a portion of RTC-owned real property to complement the transit centers. Typically referred to as "joint development", this approach has been shown to improve the quality of a customer's trip and the value of the transit center to the surrounding community. Newstands, convenience foods, and other transit-serving retail facilities are being considered among other uses in this project.