The RTC is committed to working with our federal partners to improve and enhance safety, mobility, and transportation options in our community. The RTC has created federal policy priorities, transit priorities, and highway priorities, listed below, to help guide us into the future.
RTC 2022 FEDERAL PRIORITIES
- *** Bus Maintenance Facility Replacement ***
This project is a priority as the relocation of our current bus maintenance facility is required due to Phase 4 of the Spaghetti Bowl project. As RTC expands service to keep pace with a growing community and an impending NDOT project necessitates the relocation of the facility, a new site will need to be acquired and a replacement facility developed prior to NDOT’s start of construction. This project will allow for on-site investment in hydrogen-fueling infrastructure. Additionally, the new facility is planned to provide space for long-term expansion of the fleet, notably alternative-fuel vehicles.
- Extend the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System
Continue the success of the regional BRT system through extending the Virginia Line to Mt. Rose Highway and Lincoln Line to Stoker Avenue – The 1.3-mile extension of our BRT to Stoker Avenue and the 5-mile extension from Meadowood Mall to Mt. Rose Highway will allow completion of this most-critical transit infrastructure. These two areas provide the best near-term opportunity to complement the current BRT system by adding much-needed service in high-density, senior and workforce housing. These projects would directly address two of our most-pressing social issues – affordable housing and climate change.
- Spare Ratio Flexibility
With the transition to a new technology, buses will have to be taken out of service and dedicated to training which will also impact the spare ratio in the coming years. Ask FTA to provide additional guidance and flexibility on the spare ratio to transit systems transitioning to EV buses. FTA has indicated a willingness to be flexible and we hope this can be clearly communicated to transit systems consistently from both HQ and regional FTA offices. Transit systems are worried about being punished for not meeting stringent spare ratio standards as we compete for competitive grant programs and are audited.
HIGHWAY PRIORITIES (FREEWAY IMPROVEMENTS)
- I-80 Improvements (Spaghetti Bowl Phase 2)
I-80 is a nationally significant freight corridor and critical for regional mobility within the Truckee Meadows. NDOT studies identified short- and long-term investments to improve safety, and travel time reliability between the Spaghetti Bowl and Sparks Boulevard to the Tahoe-Reno Industrial (TRI) Center in Storey County.
- US 395 Widening (phases 1A, 1B & 2)
Widen US 395 between I-80 and Lemmon Drive. This segment of US 395 is a critical freeway link in the metro region that consistently experiences traffic congestion. It serves the growing residential population as well as the more than 12,000 jobs in the North Valleys region.
HIGHWAY PRIORITIES (REGIONAL ROAD IMPROVEMENTS)
- *** Highland Ranch Parkway/Pyramid Highway Intersection ***
This intersection is a major connector between two areas experience large amounts of growth. Traffic is currently experiencing longer delays and widening has been identified as an important solution here. This project addresses both congestion and safety.
- *** Keystone Avenue ***
The Keystone Avenue Bridge over the Truckee River is structurally deficient and does not accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists. This project will allow us to replace a piece of failing infrastructure with a safer alternative, which will include bike/pedestrian facilities where there currently is none.
- *** Lemmon Drive – Segment 2 ***
The Lemmon Drive Segment 2 Project will reconstruct 3.7 miles of Lemmon Drive between Fleetwood Drive to Ramsey way above the 100-year flood plain of Swan Lake. The Project will also widen Lemmon Drive from Fleetwood Drive to Palace Drive, provide safe connections to the area’s Historically Disadvantaged Communities, and improve the multimodal connectivity.
- *** Sierra Street ***
The Sierra Street Bridge is structurally deficient, along with not performing adequately during flood events and having a high seismic risk. This project will allow us to replace a piece of failing infrastructure with a safer alternative, along with additional multimodal updates to the road.
- *** Sparks Boulevard Project ***
This project is in an area where land use continues to intensify. Improvements made on Sparks Boulevard are planned to respect the environmental, historical, community, and recreational resources. The purpose of the project is to address operations and capacity deficiencies and improve safety and mobility for all modes of transportation including cars, pedestrians, transit, and bicycles. The project will increase safety, add roadway capacity, and improve bicycle and pedestrian facilities by widening the roadway.
- Environmental Streamlining
Reduce project development costs and duration by reducing the duplication of efforts in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. This includes reducing duplication in the Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act of 1966 and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 processes and requirements. In addition, limiting the requirements for re-analyzing traffic data for a NEPA document would save time and resources.
- Fully Fund Highway and Mass Transit Programs
Fully fund federal transit and highway programs at levels authorized in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). RTC encourages Congress to appropriate IIJA authorized levels for the Federal Highway and Transit Administration’s formula and discretionary programs.
- Improve FTA Resources for Grantees
The RTC recognizes that federal employees are regularly asked to “do more with less” and supports fully funding and increasing funding for Federal Transit Administration staff or outside resources.
- Permit the Use of Tapered Match or Delayed Local Match
This approach will allow projects to be paid for with the federal funding share first, with state and local funding portion applied later in the projects. Delaying the state and local funding portion would assist agencies that are facing constrained local resources and help ensure successful project development and completion.
- Support Development of Public Lands Management Approach
The RTC is committed to partnering with diverse stakeholders to develop a well-balanced approach to public land management legislation addressing the needs of all regional partners in Washoe County. This effort is anticipated to allow for federal lands to be recommended for development, creating permanent land conservation and helping to fund additional land preservation and conservation projects statewide.
- Support Joint Development and Public-Private Partnerships
The RTC supports the continuation of FTA’s joint development program and the encouragement of economic development in transit corridors. RTC also supports the creation of incentives for grantees to include private sector participation in transit infrastructure projects, transit service delivery and related economic development projects. RTC supports the use of innovative financing tools, included but not limited to asset-recycling, Build America Bonds, private activity bonds, state infrastructure banks, increased authorization for the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, and equity investment tax credits.
While all the issues covered in our Federal Priorities on this webpage are of critical importance to RTC, there are times when we may be asked to further prioritize our needs.
***In order to be prepared for the situation where a prompt and nimble response is needed, our six top priorities are marked with asterisks on this webpage, and reiterated here as:
- Bus Maintenance Facility Replacement
- Highland Ranch Parkway/Pyramid Highway Intersection
- Keystone Avenue
- Lemmon Drive – Segment 2
- Sierra Street
- Sparks Boulevard Project