APTA | Passenger Transport
November 3, 2008

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Reno’s RTC Opens Artistic, Efficient Transit Center

As guests chanted “Move That Bus,” the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County in Reno, NV, dedicated its Centennial Plaza Transit Center in Sparks on Oct. 21. The new $20 million facility, located four miles from downtown Reno, replaces a closet-sized shelter in the corner of a parking garage.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are about this new center. It has been described by the community as a jewel, and I couldn’t agree more. It will serve our customers and its neighbors well,” said RTC Executive Director Greg Krause.
The design of the half-circle brick building with glass walls and translucent ceiling suggests a railroad roundhouse, with 15 bus bays outside it. The building contains waiting areas, ticketing counters, and available retail space.
Adding to the aesthetics of the site is a 40-foot lighted sculpture by Donald Lipski called “The Cow Catcher,” referring to the guard installed on the front of a locomotive. A blue LED strip illuminates the sculpture from below at night. The transit center also boasts a heritage mural by a local artist and local art displays in partnership with the Sparks Heritage Museum.
The facility also boasts numerous green design aspects, as planned by the RTC board. Construction crews reused asphalt, concrete, and steel and installed high-efficiency heating, air, and water systems along with energy-saving lighting and highly reflective roofing material. The building was designed to meet criteria for a silver rating from LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which honors innovation among other environmental design standards.
The RTC worked extensively with the community in planning for the Sparks transit center, meeting with local officials and agencies and receiving design input from citizen advisory committees.
The dedication event also marked the 30th anniversary of the introduction of RTC RIDE transit service.

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