Overview: On August 2020, RTC of Washoe County entered into an agreement with Uber for a one-year pilot program to provide Reno-Sparks riders greater flexibility and more options for their transportation needs. The RTC Washoe-Uber Rides pilot transportation program was modeled after the existing RTC Washoe Senior Ride program but instead of taxis we partnered with Uber. Through this program, RTC of Washoe County will subsidize 75% of your fare (up to $9) for trips on Uber that start and end in the Reno-Sparks area. With this program, eligible customers may now use Uber at a substantially discounted rate with a portion of the ride subsidized by the RTC of Washoe County. During the pilot program we will only be accepting 50 applications.

Program funding: RTC Washoe-Uber Rides Pilot Program is funded by the one-fourth of a percent of Washoe County sales tax that is allocated for public transportation.

Program eligibility: This Pilot Program provides alternative, reliable and affordable transportation to Washoe County residents who are 60 years and older, RTC ACCESS client (any age), and Washoe County Veterans (any age). PLEASE NOTE: WASHOE SENIOR RIDE TAXI BUCKS PROGRAM ELIGIBLE CLIENTS WOULD NOT BE QUALIFIED FOR PARTICIPATION IN THIS PILOT PROGRAM.

Program details:

Subsidy: The RTC Washoe-Uber Rides Pilot Program will pay 75% off of five (5) rides per month (capped at $9 off per ride). The other 25% of the fare and any amount over $9 will be automatically charged to the user’s debit or credit card on file on his/her Uber account.

24/7: Eligible rides can be taken 24/7/365.

Ride limits: Users can receive subsidy for up to 5 trips per month

Vehicle type: Subsidy will apply only to UberX trips for the initial program launch

Service area: Eligible trips must start AND end in the Reno-Sparks area. Trips that begin or end outside of the service area below are not eligible for subsidy.

What users need to get started?

  • A smartphone with access to the internet
  • An active Uber account
  • A valid debit or credit card on file on your Uber account

 How to enroll in the program: (Pilot Program Registration Process)

  1. Participants will need to complete and sign the registration and agreement form and mail it to Regional Transportation Commission P.O. Box 30002 Reno, NV 89520-3002 or fax it to 775-348-3261. You may also send it by email at rtcaccessapplication@rtcwashoe.com.
  2. Once you are enrolled, RTC Washoe will send you (either via email or text) a personal URL link.
  3. When you receive your personal URL link, simply click on the link (either on your smartphone or computer), you will be prompted to sign into your existing Uber account or download and create an Uber account if you do not have one.
  4. You will be prompted to “Accept voucher.”
  5. After accepting the voucher, you will be eligible to receive subsidized for the duration of the program, with the voucher automatically applying to eligible trips.

 How to take your first trip:

After successfully enrolling and accepting your voucher, you are ready to take your first ride. To request a ride, riders open the App, enter the target destination, and the app automatically sets a pickup location using GPS. After setting the destination and pickup location, press the “Request” button at the bottom of the screen and are subsequently matched with a nearby driver who accepts the ride request. If the trip is covered by the voucher, the discount will appear above the “confirm” button.

In addition, you’ll also know:

  • Estimated time of your driver’s arrival.
  • Type of car to expect, including color, license plate number, and picture of your driver!
  • The estimated cost of your discounted ride as a RTC Washoe-Uber customer.
  • You will receive a text message when your driver arrives.

NOTE: Uber provides “curb-to-curb” service so you will be required to be ready at your pickup location.


How to create an Uber account?

To use Uber, riders download the Uber App onto their smartphones through the iTunes or Google Play stores. Simply enter Uber in the search field and download the app following the instructions provided. After downloading the Uber app to your smartphone, open the app and create an account following the instructions provided. You will be required to enter your smartphone’s phone number and provide a valid credit or debit card number.

How to pay for the portion of trips RTC-Washoe does not cover?

You do not need cash or physical tickets to ride with Uber. Your credit or debit card on file will automatically be billed the appropriate discounted rate.


Tipping is optional. You can tip your drive right on your Uber app, with the tip amount being charged to your form of payment on file with your account. The RTC Uber fare value cannot be used to tip the driver.

How are Uber fares calculated?

For eligible rides taken through this program, the fare you pay will be the total fare minus the subsidy of the applied voucher. Fares for trips on Uber are calculated as follows: the upfront price is calculated using the base rate, plus the per-minute rate and/or per-mile rate. It may be adjusted due to marketplace factors, promotions, and/or other discounts, and includes applicable taxes, fees, surcharges and estimated tolls.

Fares shown when scheduling your ride are approximations and may change based on factors including wait times, etc. Visit Uber’s web site for details at www.uber.com.

How do I know using rideshare is safe?

Before anyone can drive with Uber in the US, they must complete a background check and drivers continue to be vetted every year. In addition, there is a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy. Uber also provides $1 million liability insurance for all drivers and vehicles. If you do experience a safety incident, you can use the in-app emergency button to call 911 to get help if you need it. The app displays your location and trip details, so you can quickly share them with the 911 dispatcher.

 What is the safest way to for my ride?

  • Always stand in the designated pickup Uber location.
  • Avoid spending time standing outside the designated pickup area.
  • You can choose to wait inside until the app shows the driver is 2 minutes away and then can walk to the designated pickup location.
  • Observe your surroundings and be cautious at all times.
  • Never get into a car with someone who claims to be a Uber driver without asking to see identification or asking the driver to verify your name and destination.
  • Use your smartphone flashlight (if needed) to confirm the license plate number and to clearly identify the driver.