The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), U.S. Senator Harry Reid, Governor Brian Sandoval, Samsung SDS, UNLV and local, state and federal leaders recently marked the grand opening of a new transit center at UNLV and rolled out a new transit pass program for local university students.
The UNLV Transit Center is a 6,460-square-foot facility located south of Maryland Parkway and University Road, within walking distance of key UNLV facilities, including the Thomas & Mack Center, Cox Pavilion, and various UNLV academic and administrative buildings. The open-air facility offers a large number of bicycle racks and an outdoor waiting area with shelter canopies.
"UNLV is in the hub of popular valley destinations, dense residential communities and a number of medical and community service facilities," said U.S. Senator Harry Reid. "This is a great location to provide modern, convenient transportation options. I am proud to be a part of a project that improves accessibility, connects communities, and continues our state's economic growth."
The RTC's Centennial Express (CX) route will be the first route directly servicing the UNLV Transit Center, making campus access easier for students, faculty and staff. The 24-mile route currently carries approximately 25,000 passengers per month, providing connections to downtown Las Vegas, the Premium Outlet Mall/Clark County Government Center, the Las Vegas Strip at Spring Mountain and the Howard Hughes office park.
"Today's event is a wonderful example of what working together can accomplish," Governor Brian Sandoval said. "The UNLV Transit Center will benefit students, faculty and the many businesses near UNLV. I congratulate the RTC and UNLV on working to enhance connectivity in Nevada to better serve our residents."
UNLV echoed the governor's statement.
"Bringing transit directly to the campus, combined with discount fare for students, faculty, and staff improves both convenience and cost effectiveness for our UNLV community," said Don Snyder, UNLV executive dean for strategic development. "We are excited about the opportunity to help create alternative transportation options for regular campus commuters, as well as visitors who come here for special events and sports activities."
The RTC also launched a new student transit pass program, UPASS, tailored just for college students and faculty at all three of Southern Nevada's major higher education institutions: UNLV, College of Southern Nevada and Nevada State College. The transit pass will offer students a 50 percent discount on a 30-day monthly pass for $32.50 or more than a 60 percent discount for an entire semester transit pass for $104. Passes can be used for any transit route and to any destination. The UPASS program was established to improve access to the transit system among Southern Nevada college students and will help the RTC to better understand college students' transit usage and behavior and the needs and demands for transit services.
"This has been an amazing partnership working with UNLV in creating transit opportunities and solutions for our community," said Tina Quigley, general manager of the RTC. "The combination of improved campus access and a fare program targeted specifically to valley students will not only make transit a more economical transportation alternative, but more convenient and appealing as well."
The RTC built the new UNLV Transit Center at a cost of $3.45 million, 80 percent of which was federally funded by the Federal Transit Administration Bus and Bus Facilities Livability Initiative Grant, and 20 percent funded by a local match made by the RTC.
The grand opening event also announced a new technology program called "TransitTap", which the RTC and Samsung SDS will begin piloting along the CX route. "TransitTap" will allow customers to use an open payment system to pay for transit fares, simply by tapping a MasterCard(R) PayPass contactless credit or prepaid debit card or by using a NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled smart phone to the card reader when boarding transit vehicles. The pilot program will explore new and emerging technologies that will improve customer convenience and speed of boarding, which will enhance the transit experience in the valley. Samsung SDS, the developer of the "TransitTap" technology, is a global provider of information and communications technology.
About the RTC
The RTC is the transit authority, transportation planning agency and regional traffic management agency for Southern Nevada. The RTC's vision is to provide a safe, convenient and effective regional transportation system that enhances mobility and air quality for citizens and visitors. The RTC encourages residents and visitors to use alternate commute modes to help reduce traffic congestion, clean the air and improve the quality of life in Southern Nevada. RTC transit service carried more than 60 million passengers last year and is one of the most efficient transit systems in the nation. For more information on the RTC, visit rtcsnv.com or use your mobile device to access the RTC's Ride Tracker, a GPS-based, mobile website that enables transit riders to easily see when buses are due to arrive.