Your RTC. Our Community.

February 2019

RTC Commissioners, Below you will find your
February 2019 RTC Board Update eNews.
This electronic newsletter is distributed
monthly following your board meeting.
We are #MidtownProud! Pizzava owner Sabri Arslankara hosted a free pizza lunch for the #VirginiaStreetProject team on February 6 to thank the team for their work on the project.

Virginia Street Project Update

The RTC is more than 80% done with the first part of the Virginia Street Project and plans to begin reopening sections of Virginia Street to two-way traffic during March, as construction operations allow. Even as sections are reopened, drivers can still expect to see possible lane closures and traffic shifts as utility companies connect utilities throughout the corridor.

Businesses along this corridor remain open and accessible during construction.

Construction on this part of the project is expected to wrap up in March.
What’s next?
The first part of construction included utility relocations and upgrades, which took place mostly underground. When the next part of construction begins in the summer of 2019, a majority of the work will take place at road level. In the interim, utility companies will continue utility-connection work throughout the corridor, but the work will only require minor lane closures or traffic shifts.
After the work by the utility companies is done, a new traffic control plan will be in place. While the traffic control plans are still under review, one-way traffic will be required within the work zone when construction begins again this summer.
At this time, the preliminary work plan includes beginning construction at Plumb Lane and working north. Crews will also work on side streets throughout the corridor. Construction operations will occur on one side of Virginia Street (east or west) and then switch.
During this next part of the construction, the community will start to see the corridor transform, including new, wider sidewalks, landscaping, new lighting, new and updated transit stations, and major safety improvements. The RTC’s project team will have multiple crews working at the same time, just like in the first part of the project, to help finish the project more quickly and impact businesses for as little time as possible. This part of the construction is expected to wrap up in 2020.

More information:

For more information about the Virginia Street Project, visit, text VIRGINIA to 797979, or follow RTC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Learn More at

RTC Board Approves RIDE Contractor Change

After a long and thorough procurement process, the Fixed-Route Operations and Maintenance Services RFP Evaluation Committee recommended to RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson that a contract be awarded Keolis Transit Services, the highest-ranked proposer. The RTC Board approved the recommendation at the February 15, 2019, meeting. RTC staff will finalize the contract and bring it back to the Board in March for approval. If approved by the Board, it is anticipated that Keolis will assume full responsibility for RIDE operations and maintenance effective July 1, 2019. The new contract is for four years, with two, three-year options, which could extend the contract through June 30, 2029.

Keolis will be offering existing employees in good standing the opportunity to apply for jobs with them and it is their intent to retain as many of the current RIDE employees as possible. The RTC encourages all MV Transportation employees to take advantage of this offer.  The RTC wants to be absolutely clear; however, that MV Transportation will remain the employer of RIDE employees through June 30, 2019.  

Since the RTC receives federal funds to operate RTC RIDE, it must follow federal-procurement regulations that require the RTC to periodically re-bid its service contracts. The process to re-bid the RTC RIDE contract began over a year ago with the RTC soliciting all of the major private transit operators as part of an industry-wide outreach effort.  RTC staff met with industry providers to get their input on pivotal service delivery, operations and maintenance, and contractual issues.  

A Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued in August 2018 and seven private operators submitted proposals that were evaluated by  committee. Based on interviews, evaluation and scoring, the committee unanimously recommended that the RTC award a contract to Keolis Transit Services, LLC (Keolis).   

Our current contractor, MV Transportation has done an excellent job for us. The RTC would also like to extend a personal thanks to MV Transportation employees Jeff Matland, Mitch Bailey, Kathleen Agles, and Simon Batter for the excellent work they have done and will continue to do throughout the transition. They are dedicated, true professionals and have served our community well.

RTC Microtransit Pilot Program

The RTC is introducing a potential new microtransit pilot program that could be implemented in Sparks this May, if it is approved by the RTC Board. The proposed service change would also include discontinuing Route 26 and shortening Route 25 in Sparks. A small, schedule-timing adjustment could also occur on other routes.

FlexRIDE is an on-demand service using similar technology to that of ride-hailing companies.  A person using a smartphone or a tablet with an app can hail a ride, as well as using a computer or standard phone, typically, within 30 minutes. Passengers travelling within the microtransit service area in Sparks will have curb-to-curb service. For those looking to travel outside the service area, they can transfer to RTC RIDE or RTC ACCESS services at Iron Horse Shopping Center or at RTC CENTENNIAL PLAZA.

The RTC’s potential pilot program in Sparks would be used in the northeast downtown areas currently served by RTC RIDE routes 25 and 26. To accommodate new microtransit, Route 25 would end at the Prater Way/McCarran Boulevard intersection and Route 26 would be discontinued. The area east of Iron Horse Shopping Center would then be serviced by microtransit instead.

Based on surveys we conducted in October 2018 on Routes 25 and 26 and at recent open houses, only 9% were unfavorable to this new service concept. The survey also indicated a majority of the passengers have smartphones, which would make it an easy adjustment to using FlexRIDE.

This on-demand ride service model has been successfully implemented in other cities nationwide and passengers report that it is convenient and easy to use. Rides may be requested the same day that service is needed, making the service similar to ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, but significantly less expensive. The cost to ride this new service would be the same as RTC’s existing transit fares.

The RTC analyzes its transit operations to maximize resources and efficiency to provide quality customer service to riders. This involves tracking ridership data and allocating buses and other resources to more productive routes for efficiency and operating within financial constraints.

These changes will be implemented on May 4, 2019, if the RTC Board approves the concept at its March 15 meeting. The project is a six-month demonstration. If it is successful, it will continue beyond that time frame. The RTC will provide additional details about how to use this service closer to the launch date.
This map shows the service area of the new microtransit pilot program. Passengers can travel from either of the two circles to anywhere in the black-boxed area, and vice versa, or from a location inside the black-boxed area to another location within the black-boxed area. Closed-door service will be provided between the two black circles on the map.

Transportation Disparity Study Public Meeting on March 1

The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) and the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County are in the process of finalizing a disparity study as part of the Federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.

The disparity study examined participation of minority- and woman-owned businesses in public contracting, measured the availability of minority- and woman-owned businesses for public contracts, and assessed the local conditions for small businesses and minority- and woman-owned businesses.

The community is invited to attend a public meeting to learn more and to ask questions about the disparity study.
  • When: Friday, March 1, 2019. Beginning at 10:00 AM. RSVP to Faith Allen at or 775-328-6979. Please include: company name, contact information, and number of attendees.
  • Where: Regional Transportation Commission Administrative Offices, located at 1105 Terminal Way in Reno, Nevada.

For more information, please contact Ranjini Zucker at or call 775-332-9511.

RTC at the Nevada Legislature

February 21 - RTC Presentation (top photo)

On February 21, the RTC gave an RTC overview presentation at a joint meeting of the Nevada State Senate and Assembly Growth and Infrastructure Committees, formerly known as the Transportation Committee.

RTC Chair Bob Lucey and Executive Director Lee Gibson and Deputy Executive Director Amy Cummings provided the committees information about the RTC projects and programs we deliver in Washoe County. This helps to inform legislators about transportation needs in the Truckee Meadows and how we prioritize transportation infrastructure projects in the region.

February 22 - Seniors Day (left photo)

The RTC participated in Seniors Day at the Nevada Legislature. The RTC joined advocates to inform legislators about senior issues, including transportation. The RTC transported seniors on an all-electric RTC Regional Connector bus to the legislature and conducted travel training on the ride from Reno to Carson City. The event was put together by AARP Nevada, Reno Senior Citizens Advisory Committee, Washoe County Senior Services Advisory Board and Washoe County Senior Coalition.

February 28 - Infrastructure Technology Day

The RTC will participate in Infrastructure Technology Day at the Nevada Legislature on Thursday, February 28 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Nevada State Legislature Building in Carson City. The public is invited to attend.

The day brings together Nevada transportation leaders and technology experts to inform legislators of the state of transportation in Nevada, highlighting emerging and innovative transportation technologies. The RTC will display its all-electric Lincoln Line bus at the legislative mall and will have interactive tech and innovation displays on the 2nd floor of the legislative building, including the UNR/RTC Intelligent Mobility Study that focuses on autonomous-vehicle technology.

Also on February 28, the RTC will give a presentation on new technologies underway at the RTC to the joint committees of Growth & Infrastructure. This presentation is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in the legislative building, room 4100.

RTC Recognizes New Year's Eve FREE Safe RIDE Sponsors

The RTC recognized the sponsors of the New Year's Eve FREE Safe RIDE event at its February 15 board meeting. Thanks to the generous support of the community, the RTC was able to offer free rides on all RTC transit services on New Year's Eve for the 34th consecutive year. This service helps our community celebrate safely and responsibly.

The RTC had the highest-ever percent increase in ridership for this free-transit event, at 54%, representing a ridership count of 10,175 rides. We are proud that our public transit services provided a safe transportation alternative to the public, keeping our roads safe on New Year's Eve.

The RTC would not be able to offer this service without the support of our generous sponsors, including Renown Health, Lamar Advertising, Club Cal Neva, Wood Rodgers, Morrey Distributing, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitor's Authority (RSCVA), REMSA, Reno Firefighters Local 731, KOLO 8 News Now, and Cumulus Radio, including News Talk 780 KOH, 95.5 The Vibe, Wild 102.9, and KBUL 98.1.

RTC Welcomes New NDOT Director Kristina Swallow

The RTC welcomes new NDOT Director and RTC Board Ex-Officio Kristina Swallow.

Kristina Swallow has nearly 25 years of experience working in the civil engineering industry and government to address challenges faced by clients and agencies and advancing their priorities. She is the past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Most recently, Kristina worked for the City of Las Vegas as a program manager in the Department of Public Works, City Engineer Division. As a practicing civil engineer, Kristina has worked in a number of technical areas including flood control, traffic impact analysis and mitigation, land development, public works and transportation policy. Her roles have included being a small business owner, working as a consultant, serving as a program manager in city government, working as a lobbyist in the Nevada State Legislature, and working as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate where she was able to negotiate language in the final passage of MAP-21 (PL 112-141). Kristina has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Arizona, a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and has completed additional studies within the UNLV College of Urban Affairs.

Kristina will serve as an ex-officio member of the RTC Board to identify and develop solutions for our growing region. Together, we will successfully deliver projects to improve state-managed roads and freeways within the region.

As the NDOT director, Kristina will be responsible for an annual operating budget of more than $800 million and close to 1,750 employees.

Pedestrian Improvements Coming to Second Street in March

The Nevada Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the City of Reno, will begin pedestrian safety improvements to Second Street in Reno in March.

Drivers and pedestrians will see single lane and shoulder closures, and potential traffic shifts, as the following improvements are installed on areas of Second Street between Keystone Avenue and Kietzke Lane, predominantly in the Riverwalk District:
  • Flashing pedestrian crossing signs, allowing pedestrians to activate signs to help stop traffic as they cross
  • Curb and sidewalk extensions, known as bulb-outs, will be installed, extending the concrete sidewalk at pedestrian crossing areas to provide enhanced pedestrian visibility, shorten crossing distances and ultimately provide an additional safety buffer between pedestrians and vehicles
  • Crosswalks, pedestrian ramps and street lighting will also be enhanced
  • A compact traffic roundabout will be installed at the intersection of Second and Giroux streets for easier and safer vehicle and pedestrian traffic flow
  • At the Arlington and Island Avenue intersection near Wingfield Park, sidewalks will be improved and a constantly flashing pedestrian crossing light replaced with flashing pedestrian-activated crossing signs
  • The sweeping right turn from southbound Kietzke Lane to Second Street will be updated for designated, safer vehicle merging
The roadway corridor travels from western Reno through downtown and commercial and residential areas before reaching the Renown Medical Center campus. In one day, nearly 4,000 pedestrian crossings were logged at five crosswalks in the corridor.

The enhancements were developed through NDOT’s Safety Management Plan. Annually, NDOT dedicates approximately $10 million in state highway funds to pedestrian safety improvements. Additionally, NDOT dedicates approximately $21 million annually in federal highway safety funds to roadway safety projects and programs.
Learn more at

Upcoming Events and Meetings

February 28
Infrastructure Technology Day at the Legislature
Nevada State Legislature Building in Carson City
March 1
Transportation Disparity Study Public Meeting
10 a.m. at RTC Administrative Offices - 1105 Terminal Way in Reno
March 26
South Meadows Multimodal Transportation Study Public Meeting
Location to be Determined, check for details.
Please contact Michael Moreno or me with any questions you may have.
Michael can be reached at (775) 335-1869 or email at
Archived editions are available at:

Lee G. Gibson, AICP, Executive Director
Ph: (775) 348-0400 Fax: (775) 324-3503
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