U.S. Senator Harry Reid (at podium), Governor Brian Sandoval, Samsung SDS, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and local, state and federal leaders joined RTC Southern Nevada officials to mark the grand opening of a new transit center located on the UNLV campus. Photo courtesy RTC Southern Nevada
The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) marked the grand opening of a new transit center
located on the UNLV campus and rolled out a new transit pass program for valley 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.
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.
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% discount on a 30-day monthly pass for $32.50 or more than a 60% 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, GM 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% of which was federally funded by the Federal Transit Administration Bus and Bus Facilities Livability Initiative Grant, and 20% 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 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.