The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) is committed to providing a sustainable transportation system which supports the environmental, social, and economic vitality of the Truckee Meadows community. This commitment is supported through the RTC Sustainability Policy which was adopted by the RTC Board in 2011 and by the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) which includes Sustainability as a Guiding Principle and the promotion of healthy and sustainable communities as a goal of the RTC. The RTC Sustainability Plan builds off this commitment to sustainability by cataloguing recent sustainability accomplishments and identifying short- and long-term sustainability goals and strategies to achieve them. The plan also complements the RTC’s voluntary participation in the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Sustainability Commitment Program. The achievements and goals included in the RTC Sustainability Plan earned the RTC a Silver-level of recognition through the APTA Sustainability Program as of August, 2017.
The RTC has a unique opportunity to be a sustainability leader in the Truckee Meadows as the regional road builder, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and transit provider. The RTC approaches sustainability holistically, working across departments and with other stakeholders throughout the region, as well as the public to improve all aspects of the agency from Finance to Facilities. As with all RTC initiatives, when it comes to sustainability the RTC collaborates with partner agencies, local stakeholders, and the general public in order to have the greatest collective impact on this vital issue. The RTC strives to work closely with regional partners, stakeholders, and the general public on sustainability issues and including the RTC’s active membership in the regional Sustainability Partners in Northern Nevada (SPINN) Committee. This committee focuses on fostering collaboration between both public and private organizations working to make the Truckee Meadows more sustainable. Additionally, during public meetings held for the update of the 2040 RTP the input gathered from the public placed a special emphasis on the importance of sustainability to the community.
The practice of sustainability affects all aspects of the RTC from daily transit operations and maintenance to the planning and engineering of roadways and multimodal infrastructure and management of its facilities. To date the RTC has implemented or achieved twenty-two different strategies or goals that all improve the overall sustainability of the RTC. These initiatives have helped the RTC significantly reduce its carbon footprint and use of finite resources which benefits all of us in the Truckee Meadows. Within the past six years criteria air pollutant emissions generated by RTC vehicles fell by 15% per passenger trip; Greenhouse Gas Emissions from RTC vehicles fell 10% per passenger trip; vehicle energy use fell by nearly 7% per passenger trip; and facility energy use fell 32% per passenger trip.
Going forward, the RTC will build off this success and continue to improve the overall sustainability of the agency. In order to track the effects of implementing this plan more efficiently, the RTC developed a comprehensive, agency-wide sustainability inventory which tracks the changes in nine different metrics including greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, energy usage, recycling and waste diversion. This inventory will be used to track the progress of this plan and also for annual reporting to APTA as part of the Sustainability Commitment Program. Building off the recent sustainability achievements of the RTC, the Sustainability Plan identifies twenty-four short-term sustainability goals across the entire agency which will be implemented within a two to three year period. These short-term goals are all focused on achieving the six long-term sustainability goals included in the plan. The long-term goals are intended to be completed within a five to six year time period. These ambitious improvements are above and beyond those already accomplished and exemplify the RTC’s commitment to becoming more sustainable as an agency and a community.