By Luke Keck
Confetti cannons fired and applause erupted at the 4th Street bus station on Monday morning as the RTC officially celebrated its 250 millionth bus ride.
When Christina Fisher descended off the 7 bus from Stead, she was greeted with cheers from RTC employees and members of the city council including Ward 4 Councilman Paul McKenzie and Ward 5 Councilwoman (and RTC Chair) Neoma Jardon.
Fisher is no stranger to the RTC system. A regular passenger on RTC busses for 16 years, she rides from Stead to Reno twice a week for physical therapy appointments, and her children rode the bus so often that the drivers on their routes knew the family by name.
The celebration of the 250 millionth ride was more than just a superficial affair—Fisher received a 250 day bus pass as a gift from the RTC. The RTC gave all other riders on the bus 31 day buss passes as well.
“The RTC has been providing transit in our region since 1979, and to have today to celebrate the 250 millionth rider is a pretty incredible day here in the city of Reno,” Councilwoman Jardon remarked.
Though the RTC already provides approximately 8.2 million rides per year, the commission’s board expects that number to quickly grow. Due to the rebounding economy and fuel cost savings from the new electric busses now in use throughout the city, the RTC now has over $1 million in savings to use for future projects. Using the new surplus in their budget, the RTC board will be expanding transit services in the next year and opening new routes throughout the city.
With 250 million rides under its belt, the RTC doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
Luke Keck is originally from the Bay Area in California and has been living in Reno for over three years. He is currently a senior at the University of Nevada and will be graduating with bachelor’s degrees in both journalism and English writing. When not working or in school, he can be found watching Netflix, keeping up with the news, or reading.