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FTA Awards BRT Funds to SFMTA, UTA, Reno RTC

FTA recently announced grant funding for BRT projects operated by three public transit agencies: approximately $75 million each to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and approximately $39 million to Reno’s Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC).

SFMTA’s $75 million for the Van Ness BRT project, for which the agency broke ground in November, includes a $45 million Capital Investment Grant (CIG) and $30 million in Bus and Bus Facilities funds. The balance of the $223 million project will be funded through other federal, state and local sources.

The two-mile BRT corridor will operate in dedicated lanes along U.S. 101/Van Ness Avenue, one of the city’s busiest bus corridors, when it enters service in 2020. The project includes bus purchases and such features as nine side-platform boarding stations, pedestrian safety enhancements and traffic signal priority. The Van Ness Improvement Project also includes replacing 1800s-era water and sewer lines.

SFMTA Chairman Tom Nolan said, “The Van Ness Improvement Project will improve Van Ness from the sewers below ground, to decreasing transit travel time above ground. This grant is another key milestone towards realizing a better, safer Van Ness for people who ride, drive and walk along this busy corridor.”

The $75 million CIG to UTA will cover about half the total cost of a 10.5-mile BRT line connecting Orem and Provo. This line, scheduled to enter service in 2019, is part of the Provo Orem Transportation Improvement Project, a partnership among UTA, Utah DOT, the two cities and Utah County.

“UTA is very grateful to the FTA and the U.S. Department of Transportation for their strong support of transit projects in Utah. This grant announcement is the culmination of years of planning with the support and vision of our board, community leaders in Utah County, as well as the support and strong leadership from state lawmakers and Utah’s congressional delegation,” said UTA President and Chief Executive Officer Jerry Benson.

The BRT line will feature 18 stops including connections to FrontRunner commuter rail and regular UTA bus routes. Approximately half of the route will operate on dedicated lanes.

In Reno, the $39 million of federal funds for the 3.1-mile 4th Street/Prater Way BRT line between Reno and Sparks includes a $16 million TIGER grant, $11.8 million from the Surface Transportation Program, $6.47 million from the CIG program and $5.3 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funding. Local sources will provide additional funding.

The “RTC Lincoln Line” will operate in mixed traffic along the Historic Highway 40 (Lincoln Highway) corridor that links the two cities’ downtown business districts. The project includes four electric buses, a fast-charge station, four stations with level boarding, transit signal priority upgrades and improvements. RTC anticipates introducing BRT service in 2019.

RTC Executive Director Lee Gibson said, “This new BRT line will improve much needed access, mobility and ADA compliance for all users which will provide enhanced transit service, including new electric buses and passenger stations, to connect residents to jobs and education opportunities. We are grateful for the partnership and support we are receiving from the FTA to deliver this project.”
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