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Changes coming down the road
by Jessica Carner
Oct 09, 2011 | 1336 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune File Photo
The Regional Transportation Commission is considering a number of service change options.
Tribune File Photo The Regional Transportation Commission is considering a number of service change options.
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RENO — The Regional Transportation Commission is in the process of evaluating its transit system and is seeking public input on ways to improve public transportation in Washoe County.

Two public meetings were held this week ­— on Thursday at the Fourth Street Station in Reno and Friday at the RTC Centennial Plaza in Sparks — to give transit users a chance to tell the RTC what they think would make the system better.

RTC transit planners are considering a number of service change options. During the public meetings, the RTC asked the public to view the options, which were displayed on large poster boards, and fill out surveys.

Roger Hanson, senior transit planner, said the number of survey respondents was incredible.

“We have more than we have ever had before,” Hanson said Thursday morning at the RTC Fourth Street Station. “We already have more than 300 surveys filled out and still have five hours to go.”

According to a press release, in January 2011, six service concepts were developed. 

“Initially, the concepts assumed a reduction in service would be necessary but the improving economy combined with the new contract for the operation and maintenance of RTC RIDE service has led to a near leveling of service hours,” the release states. 

 After evaluating the impacts and comments received through public outreach last year, two alternatives remain.

“One would shift service hours to the most productive routes and the other would streamline routing for much of the system,” the release states. “Both are based on improving overall productivity measured as passengers per service hour. The last significant restructuring of the system was in 1999.”

A shift in service hours would involve reducing service on lower performing routes and adding that service to busier routes. Routes that are not as busy could see less frequency, shorter span of service or even be discontinued. Higher productivity routes would see more frequency and a broader span of service.

New service to the Los Altos area of Spanish Springs is a routing change being considered.

“I heard you are looking at a route to Spanish Springs,” one transit user said to Hanson on Thursday. “… Oh that would be great.”

Certain routes along Prater Way could be reassigned due to below average productivity levels.

“Route 25 (along Prater Way) would be discontinued and Baring would be served by new routing that would go from the Baring/Vista area to the Sparks industrial area and possibly toward the airport,” RTC materials state.  

“These changes could never happen,” or they could be implemented as soon as next spring, Hanson said.

Public input plays a large role in what will happen.

Final plans will be shared with the agency’s advisory committees and brought back to the RTC board later this fall for potential adoption at a public hearing.

For complete RTC information or to submit comments via the web, visit rtcwashoe.com.
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