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AASHTO Journal

FTA Awards $114M to Two Bus Rapid Transit Projects in San Francisco, Reno

The Federal Transit Administration awarded grants of $75 million to help fund a bus rapid transit project in San Francisco and $39 million for a BRT system in Reno, Nev., as the agency continued its support for specialized roadway transit services.

The Dec. 27 announcements of grants totaling $114 million followed an FTA grant of $75 million a week earlier for a BRT line connecting the Utah communities of Provo and Orem.

capitol0816.jpgThe FTA said it is providing the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency with about $45 million through the FTA's Capital Investment Grant program as well as $30 million in FTA Bus and Bus Facilities funds toward a $223 million project, with the remaining costs covered by state, local and other federal sources.

The project will build a two-mile BRT line that will operate in dedicated lanes along U.S. Highway 101/Van Ness Avenue, which is a key route for commuters traveling between the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco. The work includes building nine side-platform stations with low-floor bus boarding and passenger shelters, as well as traffic signal priority, pedestrian improvements and acquiring new buses.

FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers said that "for many of the residents in this corridor who rely on public transportation, the Van Ness BRT will reduce transit travel times, improve transit service reliability and provide a more enjoyable ride." The local agency expects the BRT service to open in 2020 and provide 52,400 average weekday trips in its first year.

The $39 million in federal funds going to Nevada's Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County will help develop a 3.1-mile electrified BRT line that will operate in mixed traffic along the Highway 40 (Lincoln Highway) corridor that links the downtown business districts of Reno and Sparks.

It will include four electric buses, a fast-charge station, four branded passenger stations with level boarding, real-time schedule information, transit signal priority upgrades, and pedestrian and bicycle improvements. The regional authority looks for it to open in 2019.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the project will "bring more modern, reliable transit service to thousands of residents in Reno and Sparks."

The USDOT is providing a $16 million TIGER infrastructure grant, plus $11.8 million from the federal Surface Transportation Program, $6.47 million from the FTA's Capital Investment Grant Program and $5.3 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funding. The remaining cost is being covered by local sources.

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