FTA Announces Nearly $150 Million Grant To Support New Bus Rapid Transit Line In Las Vegas

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced a $149.9 million grant award to the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) to support the construction of a faster, more frequent bus route between downtown Las Vegas, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Harry Reid International Airport, and other destinations. This grant, for the new Maryland Parkway line, was funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“The Biden administration is proud to give Las Vegas residents and visitors faster, cleaner, more reliable bus service along 12 miles of Maryland Parkway,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “With dedicated bus lanes, traffic signal priority, and new hydrogen-powered buses, this project will deliver a cleaner, better, faster commute.”

Thanks to this grant, 15 hydrogen fuel cell-powered, 60-foot articulated buses will be added to travel the 12.5-mile Maryland Parkway route. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service will replace traditional bus lines and connect to Harry Reid International Airport, the sixth busiest airport in the nation and one of the largest employers in the state. In addition, it will link riders with 25 other bus routes via the Bonneville Transit Center and the South Strip Transit Terminal.

“The buses will run in 7.2 miles of dedicated lanes and receive traffic signal priority while in mixed-flow traffic, reducing transit time for riders. The transit agency estimates the new BRT service will decrease travel time for riders by about 20 percent compared to the current, traditional bus route that takes more than an hour to run 20 miles, saving time for more than 80,000 workers employed in the area,” according to a press release. “Investments like this improve transit by making it more consistent, reliable, and high-quality, which translates to improved ridership and a better long-term outlook for transit in communities.”

The project also includes shared bus-bike lanes, wider sidewalks, and improvements to lighting and landscaping. The federal support for the estimated $378.1 million project comes from FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program, which helps communities carry out transformational transit projects.

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