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. Top priorities are noted with *** asterisks.
RTC 2023 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.
HIGHWAY PRIORITIES (REGIONAL ROAD IMPROVEMENTS)
- *** Keystone Avenue Bridge Replacement ***
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 Improvements and Resiliency Project ***
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 Bridge Replacement ***
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.
- *** 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.
- Mt. Rose Highway Improvements
The Mt. Rose Highway exceeds the statewide average for fatal crashes, with the highest rate in the central section of the corridor (Callahan Road, Thomas Creek Road). High speeds are a likely contributing factor. Actual speeds are 10-15 mph higher than posted speeds, as discovered in a recent NDOT study. The proposed alternatives would make long-term improvements to the roadway footprint and operations, including intersection controls, speeds, access, and accommodation of multimodal travel.
- Sun Valley Boulevard Corridor Improvements
The segment of Sun Valley Boulevard from Scottsdale Road to 7th Avenue experiences a significant amount of pedestrian traffic and is one of the highest transit ridership areas not located on a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route. A portion of this roadway has also been identified on the region’s High Injury Network (HIN), where the top 25% of the most severe crashes have occurred. The project will address active transportation and safety needs in this Historically Disadvantaged Community. Significant design work has already been accomplished and the project is in a “shovel ready” state.
- Vision Zero Truckee Meadows Improvements
This is a collection of multimodal transportation improvements located on the region’s High Injury Network (HIN) and identified for priority implementation in the Vision Zero Truckee Meadows Action Plan. The desired outcome of these projects would be to improve transportation safety for all road users, regardless of travel mode. Each of these individual projects is located in a Historically Disadvantaged Community, and incorporates multiple Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Proven Safety Countermeasures to achieve the goal of a reduction in fatal and serious injury crashes.
- 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.
- Support Regional Pavement Preservation
Assist local government in identifying Federal funding opportunities for pavement preservation. The preservation of existing roads and highways in a state of good repair is an important tool to ensure the effective use of Federal funding while also improving transportation safety, reducing surface transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, delivering equitable transportation options and access, and accommodating new and emerging technologies by upgrading the region’s existing infrastructure. Support of this policy is consistent with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Presidential Executive Orders (Eos), including EO 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.
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
- Keystone Avenue Bridge Replacement
- Lemmon Drive Improvements and Resiliency Project
- Sierra Street Bridge Replacement
- Sparks Boulevard Project
- Highland Ranch Parkway/Pyramid Highway Intersection