FTA Administrator Joins Senator Reid, Nevada Officials To Break Ground on Sahara Express Bus Rapid Transit

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Contact: Paul Griffo
(202) 366-4064

Project received $34.4 million from Recovery Act’s TIGER Grant Program Will Help Achieve President’s State of the Union Goal to ‘Win the future’

Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff joined Senator Harry M. Reid and local officials today to break ground on the Sahara Express Bus Rapid Transit line, which will improve access along one of the busiest employment corridors in Las Vegas. The $45.2 million project received $34.4 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds earlier this year from the Federal Transit Administration.

The groundbreaking comes just weeks after President Obama announced his determination to win the future by out-building, out-innovating, and out-educating the rest of our nation’s global economic competitors.

“The Sahara Express is the kind of targeted transportation investment that will create good middle-class jobs to keep our economy moving forward,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.  “It will enable Las Vegas to construct a modern, energy-efficient transit system that will spur local economic growth and development for years to come.”

"Over two years later, the Economic Recovery Act is still putting Nevadans back to work," said Senator Reid.  "Not only will this project create hundreds of good paying jobs, the new bus line will spur badly needed economic growth and development in the city.  While there is still work to be done, this is exactly the kind of initiative we need to continue creating jobs and getting our state's economy back on track." 

“The new bus line will be a magnet for new commercial and residential development along the corridor, which has been hit hard by the economic downturn, and will make it easier than ever for people to get from where they live in the Valley to downtown and the Strip.” Administrator Rogoff said. “Best of all, federally funded construction of new bus lanes, stations, and other components are expected to generate nearly 500 private-sector jobs in one of the regions hit hardest by the recession.”

The project was one of 51 transportation projects (PDF) selected in February 2010 to receive grants from the Recovery Act’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program, a national competition for innovative transportation projects that promise significant economic and environmental benefits for a metropolitan area, a region, or the nation.

The Sahara Express bus rapid transit line, adjacent to both existing and planned residential and commercial development, will run 12 miles in dedicated lanes down Sahara Avenue, one of the major east-west thoroughfares in Las Vegas. Improvements to Sahara Avenue that will benefit motorists and pedestrians include upgraded traffic signals and new sidewalks. Since the dedicated bus lane does not take away from existing traffic lanes, Sahara Avenue traffic capacity will be largely unaffected.

In addition to expanding transit service in the western part of the valley, the new Sahara Express service will also provide direct connections with the Strip & Downtown Express bus rapid transit service, Deuce on the Strip double-decker buses and the Las Vegas Monorail.