RTC CEO featured in Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance newsletter on infrastructure

2020-06-23T17:03:55-07:00| Categories: Blog|




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.

The statewide shutdown of non-essential businesses inevitably caused a sharp decline in vehicle traffic. For the first time, traffic on I-15 at the Nevada/California stateline dropped by more than 60% in April compared to the same time last year. This drop in traffic volume also resulted in a dip in fuel tax revenue which, for the most part, funds roadway projects.

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.

On the other hand, fuel tax revenue cannot be used to operate public transit, which is funded primarily by sales tax and passenger fares. In 2019, we provided more than 64 million passenger trips on 39 bus routes, transporting our residents and visitors to work, doctor appointments, grocery stores, entertainment, and more.

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.

As we look to the future in a post-pandemic world, it is unclear what the future holds and the transportation industry is no different. Like many of you, we are working to better understand what our new normal will be and how we will need to recover and potentially reshape mobility in Southern Nevada. But if anything is clear it is that we are a resilient community and will be a better and brighter Southern Nevada.

Read the newsletter here

Download the rideRTC app

Plan your trips. Get your tickets. Flash your phone. Hop on board.

Download the App

Receive the latest RTC news

Get news, updates and insider information from the RTC.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Plan your trip with us

Check out the latest schedule and route information.

Plan Your Trip