THE ROAD AHEAD POST COVID-19
Like many public agencies nationwide, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) is dealing with funding constraints following an unprecedented public health and economic crisis. Unlike any other agency in the country, we oversee roadway funding, public transit and traffic management all under one roof. As both our transit and roadway operations take a financial hit due to COVID-19, their impacts tell very different stories for our community’s transportation system.
Because of our community’s investment in roadways, the RTC has healthy cash balances in roadway funding, and projects already underway will not be affected. There are currently more than 240 projects in different stages of construction in Southern Nevada that will continue to improve our infrastructure and provide much-needed jobs.
Despite expecting a dip in revenue over the next five years, a total of $250 million dollars will be available in 2021 that will put people to work in your neighborhood and ultimately improve your commute. In the long term, the RTC is working with local jurisdictions to fund more than $2.1 billion in roadway projects over the next 10 years to better connect our growing population and reduce congestion.
Unfortunately, we don’t anticipate hitting 64 million rides this year. Almost immediately after the governor’s stay-at-home order, the RTC began scaling back and suspending transit service due to a drastic drop in ridership resulting in severe revenue decreases. And revenue was further impacted when we quickly implemented extensive sanitizing, social distancing and safety measures.
Nationwide, transit agencies are currently maneuvering through uncharted territory and adjusting to the new normal. As an agency, we are grateful to our federal delegation to receive $112 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grant funding. However, it is a temporary solution and not a source we can rely on for long-term operations. A lot remains unknown, but what is certain is our dedication to making fiscally responsible decisions and our commitment to be transparent with our customers and community during this difficult time.
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