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In the News




This page is dedicated to updated RTC and Transit news.


USDA to Begin Ongoing Bird Dispersal Measures for Airport Safety at RTC SouthEast Connector Project Site


Media photo, video and interview opportunity: When: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 11 a.m. Where: Meet at SouthEast Connector construction office near Clean Water Way to be escorted onto the project site. See attached map.

Media RSVP: Please email if you plan to attend.

Who: Cameron Green, USDA Wildlife Specialist and Garth Oksol, RTC SouthEast Connector Project Manager


Reno, Nevada (January 16, 2018) – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is planning to non-lethally disperse birds away from the SouthEast Connector project site wetlands area, near the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Due to the winter migration, there has been an uptick in the number of birds, specifically gulls, flying between Virginia Lake and the SouthEast Connector project site, near the wetlands. The gulls fly through the Reno-Tahoe International Airport airfields and pose a safety threat to humans and aircraft.


To encourage the gulls to move away from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, the USDA will use noise-making devices, such as fireworks and pyrotechnics. 


Vegetation has been planted at the SouthEast Connector project site to help mitigate this issue. Once the vegetation grows in, the area will cease to be an attractive location for gulls, and further mitigation will likely be unnecessary.


Residents in the Hidden Valley area will likely hear these banging and whistling sounds periodically during daytime hours until the birds relocate. This process is expected to begin immediately and is anticipated to continue periodically through late spring.


The SouthEast Connector Project is anticipated to be complete in early summer of 2018. For project updates, visit to sign up for stakeholder email notifications, or follow RTC on Facebook and Twitter.



Sage Street Partial Closure Starts Monday, January 15


Reno, Nevada (January 11, 2018) – The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is planning to close part of Sage Street in Reno near 4th Street for utility work from Monday, January 15, 2018 through Wednesday, January 17, 2018. The closure will not affect through traffic on 4th Street, but people who use Sage Street to access Waste Management’s Transfer Station or the City of Reno’s Corporation Yard on East Commercial Row will need to detour using Sutro Street to East Commercial Row. Businesses on Sage Street are open and will be accessible from the south by traveling on Sutro Street, to East Commercial Row, to Sage Street.


The utility work is part of the 4th Street/Prater Way Bus RAPID Transit Project.


The RTC urges drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to use extra caution in construction areas.


Construction operations are weather permitting. For the latest updates, text 4PRATER to 797979, or visit to sign up for email notifications.


The work is part of an overall $58 million investment in the community to better connect Downtown Reno and Downtown Sparks and provide access to jobs and education opportunities. The 4th Street/Prater Way Bus RAPID Transit Project involves widening sidewalks, adding bike lanes, adding new landscaping and moving utilities underground. The final component of the project will be a new RAPID bus line, called the LINCOLN LINE, debuting in 2019. The new line celebrates the famous Lincoln Highway. Completion of construction is anticipated in fall of 2018.


RTC Starts Construction of Bike Lanes and Multi-use Path near UNR, Downtown Reno


For Media: Project construction b-roll video available in Dropbox


Reno, Nevada (January 9, 2018) – The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is beginning construction on a new project that will add bike lanes and a new multi-use path along Evans Avenue. The Evans Avenue Project will better connect downtown Reno with the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), and make it easier and safer for bicyclists and pedestrians to get around.


The Evans Avenue Project starts on Evans Avenue near Greater Nevada Field in Downtown Reno, and goes north around the east side of the University of Nevada, Reno, to McCarran Boulevard.


“The community told us they wanted to see enhanced bike lanes and a new walking path connecting the university to downtown Reno,” said RTC Director of Planning Amy Cummings. “This project will really improve connectivity for people in our community, especially students, who use this area to walk or bike to get where they are going.”


This project is important because it designates areas for pedestrians and bicyclists in an area where many people bike and walk. Studies have shown that designated pedestrian zones promote safety, lead to higher pedestrian visibility and can lead to fewer crashes and injuries.


Construction on the project is underway during the university’s winter break. Crews are currently working on some of the electrical work for the project, as well as grating and constructing the multi-use path from Jodi Drive to McCarran Boulevard. To minimize the impact on students and faculty at UNR, the RTC will stop construction when school is back in session, and then pick the project back up again in March, weather permitting.


The northbound lane on Evans Avenue from Jodi Drive to Enterprise Road will be closed until Friday, January 19, with a detour set-up on Highland Avenue.


Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians can expect intermittent closures during construction.


The project is expected to be completed before students graduate in May 2018. For more information, visit, or follow RTC on Facebook and Twitter.



Federal Funding Available for Transportation Alternatives


Reno, Nevada (January 2, 2018) – The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is asking local entities to apply for a portion of the $390,000 in Federal Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program funding available to our community through the U.S. Department of Transportation. The funding is available to groups or entities for projects that improve non-motorized mobility, historic preservation, scenic accessibility, Safe Routes to School programs and environmental management in Washoe County.

The RTC administers the Federal Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program for the RTC Metropolitan Planning area of Washoe County, and is asking eligible local entities to apply for funding on or before the February 20, 2018 deadline for the following two fiscal years, 2019 and 2020. Eligible agencies may submit one application per funding year.


Agencies eligible to receive the funding include local governments, transit agencies, natural resources or public land agencies, school districts, and tribal governments or non-profit entities responsible for the administration of local transportation safety programs as identified in the federal guidelines.


The Federal Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside Program funding guidance was approved by the RTC Board on July 15, 2016.


Applicants will be asked to complete an application and provide a detailed cost estimate. For more information about how to submit an application, visit  


The RTC’s allocation is separate from federal transportation funds currently available for non-motorized and other transportation improvements through the Nevada Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). Information on NDOT’s program is available on their website.





Reno, Nevada (December 12, 2017) – The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) plans to close Mira Loma Drive at the golf course from January 2-14, 2018 for utility relocation and improvements in preparation for the new SouthEast Connector/Mira Loma Drive intersection. The work is part of the SouthEast Connector Project.


All traffic, including bicyclists and pedestrians, will detour to Pembroke Drive.


Rosewood Lakes and Heron’s Landing residents who use Fairwood Drive and Heron’s Landing Drive will not be impacted and will continue to use Mira Loma Drive.


The closure is scheduled during Washoe County School District’s winter break to help minimize the impact on daily commutes. The RTC would like to remind drivers using the detour to be safe and respectful of the speed limits through the Hidden Valley neighborhood and to watch for children playing.


The SouthEast Connector Project is anticipated to be complete in late spring or early summer of 2018, weather permitting. For project updates, visit to sign up for stakeholder email notifications, or follow RTC on Facebook and Twitter.










Great Winter Driving Reminder Tips from the NHTSA.





 RTC Earns EDAWN’s Prestigious Community Partner Award




Reno, Nevada (October 31, 2017) – The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) recognized the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC) at its annual Existing Industry Awards Event at the Atlantis Casino Resort on October 24.




EDAWN presented the RTC with the Community Partner Award. The prestigious award recognizes public-sector community partners for their investment and commitment to the region, and their contributions to our economic vitality. 




“I am proud of this recognition and the work we do that supports workforce development, business attraction and retention,” said RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson. “This award exemplifies our strong partnerships and engagement with the business community, our elected and community leaders and the general public overall, underscoring the transportation investments we deliver to the region.”




Companies and organizations from Washoe County, Storey County, Reno, Sparks and Fernley were recognized for their valuable contributions at the annual event.





 Construction Updates:






Contact: Lauren Ball, Public Information Officer | Office: 775-335-1916 or Cell: 619-955-0750


Secondary Contact: Michael Moreno, Public Affairs Manager | Office: 775-335-1869 or Cell: 775-771-6453 








Intersection Improvements Coming to North Valleys




Reno, Nevada (November 1, 2017) – The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) plans to begin construction on the second phase of the North Valleys Improvements Project on Monday, November 6. Traffic signals will be installed at the intersection of Lemmon Drive and US 395, and at the intersection of Red Rock Road and Moya Boulevard. These intersection improvements will enhance safety and improve capacity on regional roads.




Construction on the project is weather-permitting. The RTC is asking drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to be aware of possible lane and sidewalk closures during construction.




“The community asked us to improve traffic safety in this area. We listened and we are implementing these improvements,” said RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson.




The first phase of the project included pedestrian-safety improvements along Sky Vista Parkway, Stead Boulevard, Golden Valley Drive and Lemmon Drive. These improvements were completed in 2016.




This project was developed based on safety analysis and public comments received as part of the North Valleys Regional Multimodal Study and the Nevada Department of Transportation’s Reno/Sparks Freeway Study.




Funding for the North Valleys Improvements Project comes from the Regional Road Impact Fee (RRIF), which are developer impact fees, and through the RTC Fuel Tax.



 Pedestrian Improvements Coming to Lemmon Drive


 Reno, Nevada (October 20, 2017) – The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) plans to start work on the Lemmon Drive Pedestrian Improvements Project on Monday, October 23. Crews will begin work to add a sidewalk to the west side of Lemmon Drive, from West Surge Street to Deli Street. The project is intended to create a safe, walkable and pedestrian-friendly community. The project also includes adding curbs, gutters, driveways, ramps and stormwater management to the area. 




“As we work to create a more walkable community, it is important and a priority to designate areas for pedestrians as we heard from the neighborhood residents,” said RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson. “Studies have shown that designated pedestrian zones promote safety, lead to higher pedestrian visibility and can lead to fewer crashes and injuries.”




Traffic controls will be in place on southbound Lemmon Drive during construction, but one lane will be open at all times. The bus stop located in the construction area will be temporarily relocated to the north end of the project. Area businesses will be accessible for the duration of the project.




Since there is no existing sidewalk along this section of Lemmon Drive, the RTC is able to start fresh and create a project that follows the most up-to-date standards set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), making this area accessible to people with limited mobility. The sidewalk will be wide enough to allow for easier wheelchair access and the ramps are also designed to be ADA-compliant.




This project represents a $350,000 investment in our community. Funding for the Lemmon Drive Pedestrian Improvements Project is provided by the Federal Transportation Alternative Program (TAP). TAP sets aside funds from the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program to fund programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives to improve non-driver access to public transportation and enhance mobility.




Construction on the project is weather dependent, but is expected to take about one month to complete.










In other news:


As a part of tax reform, Congress is considering eliminating the transportation fringe benefit. This is a benefit that provides commuters with the option of tax-free employer provided parking and transit. Eliminating this benefit would impact almost all commuting Americans and would create an accounting nightmare for businesses of all sizes.




Additionally, eliminating this benefit would impact transit ridership and as a result would create more congestion on our nations transportation system. We are joining forces with the Commuter Benefits Works for Us coalition and are asking you to act today by helping spread the word and contacting your Member of Congress.




Below, is a link that allows individuals to make their voice heard to their Members of Congress.


A moving tribute to life-long Metro Transit rider


Sacramento bus stop converted into music venue



Agent of Connection