The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County will launch the final piece of the Virginia Street Project Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project with the extension of the RAPID Virginia Line service to the University of Nevada, Reno, on March 8, 2021. Transit riders including University students, faculty, and staff will be more connected to our region than ever before. The new extended service will begin operation on Saturday, March 6, ahead of the official launch. The official launch on March 8 will be livestreamed on RTC’s Facebook page at 11 a.m.
The University and the community will benefit from the extended RAPID service and new stations with their convenient locations and quick access to destinations along Virginia Street from campus to downtown Reno, Midtown Reno, and Meadowood Mall. The RTC will offer free rides on the RAPID Virginia Line starting March 6 through March 19.
The RAPID Virginia Line is an enhanced transit service. The route has features that allow buses to travel more quickly on Virginia Street and with fewer stops than on regular bus routes, including transit stops approximately every half mile, raised level-boarding platforms to allow passengers to get on and off quickly, dedicated bus lanes in some locations, and technology that allows the bus to communicate with traffic signals to help keep the route on schedule. The electric coaches are very quiet and passengers waiting at RAPID stations will be encouraged to pay extra attention when the bus is arriving. RAPID buses are scheduled to have 10-minute headways along Virginia Street.
The RAPID Virginia Line is the highest-ridership route in RTC’s transit system. Extending the RAPID Virginia Line to the University is anticipated to continue to increase ridership while providing students, faculty, and staff with an enhanced travel option through the Virginia Street corridor in Reno.
As part of the Virginia Street project, there are five new RAPID transit stations near the University, on both sides of Virginia Street. The RTC has also made sidewalk improvements and added a roundabout on Virginia Street at the entrance to the University’s West Stadium Parking Complex to improve safety and traffic flow. The project also included the restriping of Virginia Street from two lanes of traffic in each direction to one traffic lane and one shared bus/bicycle lane for both northbound and southbound traffic flow. The Midtown improvements are similar, including three upgraded RAPID stations and a roundabout.
With parking being limited in and around the campus, the extended RAPID service will reduce congestion and ease parking hassles. Transit helps improve access and walkability, reduces pollution, and is a sustainable solution that contributes to a better quality of life for those who live nearby transit stops and choose to ride transit.
About the Virginia Street Project:
The Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project improves safety and provides better access, enhanced transit service, and improved mobility for everyone. This includes extending the RAPID Virginia Line from Midtown to the University of Nevada, Reno. More than 280 trees were added to this corridor as part of the project. The project represents an approximately $90 million investment in our community, funded with fuel tax revenue, sales tax revenue, and federal funds. This project was completed under budget and ahead of schedule.
The RTC thanks our partners in the Virginia Street Project for bringing this project to fruition: Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, Senator Jacky Rosen, Congressman Mark Amodei, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration including Region IX Administrator Ray Tellis and staff, the City of Reno, University of Nevada, Reno, the Midtown businesses, the community, design consultants NCE and C A Group, Inc., environmental consultant and construction manager Atkins, contractor Sierra Nevada Construction, as well as subcontractors and suppliers, providing local jobs for Northern Nevadans and bringing this project to completion. Thank you to PK Electrical, LA Studios, Shields Engineering, CME, VWB, MAPCA, Taylor Made Solutions, A-1 Steel, Anark Corporation, Associated Concrete Pumping, Badger Daylighting, Cinderlite Trucking Corp., Desert Commercial Sweeping, Eastern Sierra Engineering, Eastern Sierra Sweeping, Reno Iron Works, High Desert Surface Prep, Kustom Koatings, Moana Nursery, Morgan Construction, Nevada Barricade & Sign Co., Noah’s Park Tree Care, Northern Nevada Rebar, nvision Glass, Pavement Recycling Systems, Penhall Company, Reno Rock Transport, RFI Enterprises, Sierra Rental & Transport Co., Silver State Masonry, Titan Electrical, Underground Video Technology, Western Partitions, and YESCO.
To plan your transit trip, please visit rtcwashoe.com.