The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) and local officials celebrated the grand opening of the RTC’s new Mobility Training Center (MTC) on January 7, 2016. The MTC is designed to increase mobility among Southern Nevadans, especially senior residents and persons with disabilities, by equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to use public transportation throughout Clark County, according to officials.
With the MTC now open, RTC specialists can teach clients how to use public transit safely and efficiently in a contained environment that simulates the outdoors. The RTC provides free transit mobility training in a group or one-on-one setting to local residents.
“This state-of-the-art facility located right here in Southern Nevada is the only one of its kind in the West because it’s a unique blend of mobility training, Paratransit certification, and blindness skills training,” said Clark County Commissioner and RTC Chairman Larry Brown. “This is instrumental because it gives mobility and accessibility options to the young, senior citizens and persons with disabilities.”
Within the 14,700-square-foot building are two working buses situated on a simulated streetscape that includes a transit shelter, paved roads, sidewalks, different types of surfaces such as pavers and grass, ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and stunning murals of the Clark County.
(Video of groundbreaking ceremony)
The MTC features modern classrooms for group mobility training and an assessment center. The two working buses provide a firsthand transit boarding and farebox experience. The learning environment equips individuals with the necessary tools to access public transportation that will take them to jobs, appointments and social activities.
The MTC is also the headquarters for the RTC’s ADA Paratransit certification program, which is designed for individuals who experience physical, cognitive or visual impairments and who are functionally unable to use the RTC’s fixed-route transit services independently. Upon receiving ADA Paratransit certification, eligible individuals can then use the RTC’s Paratransit services.
The RTC’s ADA certification team currently sees 450 clients per month. The RTC anticipates it will be able to serve an additional 150 clients per month in the new facility, which also features an outdoor dog run for service animals.
Featured in the MTC is Blindconnect’s Angela’s House, the only blindness skills training facility in Nevada. The 1,200-square-foot apartment is a fully equipped working home so the skills taught are transferable to any home setting. Blindconnect teaches its clients skills such as daily living, orientation and mobility, technology, personal care, communication and advocacy, coping and adjustment, and Braille.
“The vision of Angela’s House was to create and establish a person-centered training facility for the blind and visually impaired to prepare individuals and families to live independently with access to services, education and recreation,” said Blindconnect Executive Director Jean Peyton. “Today, that vision is a reality thanks to our donors and the RTC.”
During the grand opening festivities, guests were treated to a performance by Kiss Is 4Kidz, an organization that provides creative and performing arts training and opportunities to individuals with special needs. By collaborating with other community organizations, Kiss Is 4Kidz helps its students broaden their experience, express themselves artistically and break stereotypes.
Funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) accounts for $5.4 million – approximately 80 percent – of the MTC’s $6.7 million cost. Sletten Construction is the general contractor and Gensler is the architect of record.
The RTC and U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) broke ground on the project in October 2014, which is located adjacent to the RTC’s Sunset Maintenance Facility at 5165 W. Sunset Road.