Contact: Angela Gates
RENO, Nev. – Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff today announced that the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County received a $5.1 million grant to purchase new hybrid-electric buses and build a new fueling station. The improvements will enhance bus rapid transit service for the growing number of riders who are choosing to take public transportation along Virginia Street, one of the region’s busiest corridors.
“With transit ridership at its highest level in five years, the Obama Administration understands the value and importance of continuing to invest in bus rapid transit lines, commuter and light rail systems, and other public transit options,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “It’s important to preserve and maintain the transit infrastructure we’ve already built, to keep it safe and dependable for the millions who take transit today and in years to come.”
Funding for up to 10 new hybrid electric buses that will boost service on Virginia Street and a fueling station that will be built at RTC’s maintenance and operations facility is provided through the Federal Transit Administration’s FY2011 State of Good Repair grant program.
“The RAPID BRT offers a reliable, desirable alternative for residents heading to jobs on or near the downtown corridor, and students heading to the University of Nevada at Reno,” said Administrator Rogoff. “There are many more good projects like this across the country that need funding, which is why Congress must pass a strong transportation bill to expand and preserve our transit systems for years to come.”
Administrator Rogoff’s announcement was made at the new Liberty Street Station stop in downtown Reno at an event to celebrate the opening of the new state-of-the-art bus stations on the bus rapid transit line, which also received $6.7 million in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funding to upgrade a total of 14 bus stations.
Today’s announcement is just one way the Department of Transportation is celebrating National Transportation Week (May 14th - 20th). Over the next seven days, the Department is highlighting its commitment to ensuring the safety of America’s transportation systems this week and all 52 weeks of the year. Investment in our nation’s infrastructure is critical for maintaining and improving safety. Through TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants, discretionary funds and other programs, the Department of Transportation is working to enhance, expand and modernize American infrastructure, but Congress needs to act. A bipartisan long-term transportation bill is necessary to move our country into the future.