RTC Southern Nevada gets federal funding boost
The Federal Transit Administration has distributed more than $60 million in support to RTC Southern Nevada, as well as awarding cash to develop contactless payment technology.
RTC Southern Nevada is also planning to implement contactless readers on its bus routes
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) received nearly $61 million in federal aid from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in response to the economic impact of COVID-19 on its public transportation system.
Funded by state sales tax and passenger fares, the RTC’s transit operating revenue has suffered greatly during the health and economic crisis. The agency says the federal relief packages will help offset its budget deficit from revenue losses due to the pandemic.
The RTC will receive approximately $60,118,785 through the FTA’s Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA). According to the agency, the CRRSAA grant will help support funds to manage and maintain public transit operational costs, such as payroll, fuel and personal protective equipment and supplies. The CRRSAA includes $14 billion in relief to transit agencies across the country.
“Due to pandemic-related revenue loss, federal assistance is crucial to allowing the RTC of Southern Nevada to maintain operations, keep its employees on the payroll, and help Nevadans get to and from work,” said Congresswoman Dina Titus.
“Public transit is a critical resource for frontline workers, seniors, and individuals with disabilities in this time of need. As a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I will continue to advocate for federal aid to preserve Nevada’s public transit service.”
The FTA also awarded $500,000 in funding to the RTC through the COVID-19 Research Demonstration Grant Program. The programme supports strategies to develop, deploy and demonstrate innovative solutions that improve the operational efficiency of transit agencies and enhance the mobility of transit users affected by the pandemic.
The RTC says it will use the amount to procure and install new Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) certified electronic validators on its more than 400 fixed-route buses. The new EMV-certified validators will allow the RTC to grow its contactless payment options to improve health measures, reduce passenger-loading times and increase overall operational efficiency.
“We are incredibly fortunate to receive funds that support research in technology and innovative programs,” said Debra March, Henderson mayor and RTC chairwoman.
“The health and wellbeing of RTC customers and operators remain top priorities. Introducing this new technology and equipment will improve service operations and minimize the risk of exposure with more contactless payment options.”
The FTA received 104 eligible project proposals totalling approximately $63.4 million and awarded 37 projects in 35 states with $15.8 million in total grant funding.