The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) celebrated the grand opening of the valley’s newest bus rapid transit service, the Sahara Express today. The new rapid transit line will include dedicated transit lanes along much of Sahara Avenue, one of the busiest transit corridors in the Las Vegas Valley.
In addition, the project will improve the experience of transit customers by featuring new solar-powered transit shelters, ticket vending machines, wider sidewalks, elevated station platforms and enhanced landscaping. These features, along with traffic signal upgrades, will improve travel for pedestrians, cars and transit riders.
Operated with double-deck buses, the Sahara Express will extend its value by operating branches on both the east and west ends of the valley to best serve residential neighborhoods. It will serve Sahara from Hualapai to Hollywood, as well as portions of Vegas Valley Drive, East Lake Mead Blvd, and West Charleston between Rainbow and the Red Rock Casino. The new express route will connect to the RTC’s Deuce on the Strip, Strip & Downtown Express and Boulder Highway Express routes, as well as over a dozen other arterial routes. The Sahara Express will begin service on Sunday, May 20. The RTC’s transit routes and schedules are also being adjusted on that date.
FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff attended yesterday’s event, along with RTC Chairman and Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown, and RTC board members, Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani and Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian.
“Like our other rapid transit services, the Sahara Express will offer commuters a faster transit option to get across the valley,” said Tina Quigley, RTC general manager. “In addition to bolstering our transit service options, the Sahara Express will greatly improve this critical east-west corridor overall, with expanded sidewalks, new landscaping and upgraded traffic signals.”
“This project represents the future of transportation in the valley,” added Larry Brown, chairman of the Regional Transportation Commission board. “We want to offer a sustainable transportation system to our residents and visitors that can better accommodate all modes of transportation including driving, transit and walking.”
The RTC received $34.4 million in federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The project helped spur local economic growth by creating or sustaining an estimated 500 private-sector jobs and improving mobility along one of the valley’s most important corridors.