December 1, 2020

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) is honored to receive a $131,661 research grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) as part of its Real-Time Transit Asset Management Program.

The RTC will use the funding to collaborate with the University of Nevada, Reno, to demonstrate real-time transit infrastructure monitoring in the City of Reno. The monitoring system, which will use 3D imaging, cameras, and LiDAR, will assist the RTC in maintaining its transit system in a State of Good Repair.

“This funding is critical to our innovation efforts as your transit agency in Washoe County,” said RTC Executive Director Bill Thomas. “We are grateful to the FTA for this grant award.”

The RTC and the University plan to develop a digital model of RTC’s transit assets in the City of Reno, such as bus stops, bus stations, and other transit infrastructure. Then, sensors will be placed on these assets and on RTC buses to track and identify potential maintenance and repair issues so they can be addressed right away.

“This important, federal grant supports the RTC’s effort to put the innovations, technologies and expertise of University researchers to work. This is one of many collaborative efforts through which our researchers are helping make mobility and transportation more efficient, effective and sustainable,” said Mridul Gautam, vice president for research and innovation, University of Nevada, Reno.

This demonstration will build on the existing strengths of the University of Nevada, Reno and the RTC, including the University’s significant experience deploying advanced sensors for automated vehicles, as well as the experience they have developed together deploying such advanced sensors on RTC buses since 2017. Leveraging this experience, the RTC and the University will create a technological template that transit agencies around the country can use to improve their infrastructure monitoring practices.

“Our sincere thanks to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams, and our hard working Nevada Congressional leaders, Senator Cortez Masto, Senator Rosen, and Congressman Amodei, for their support and leadership for investing in our local infrastructure to improve our region’s transportation systems,” said Thomas.

Work on the project is anticipated to begin in winter 2020.