skip to Main Content

Celebrating the Convergence of History and Innovation with the Reno RTC Lincoln Line

On December 14, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County in Reno, Nevada unveiled their 4th Street/Prater Way Bus RAPID Transit project, revealing new battery-electric buses and stations along a renovated roadway. The Lincoln Line connects Reno and Sparks with dedicated BRT lanes, providing a unique rider experience that includes a scenic cultural immersion into the rich history of the 4th Street/Prater Way corridor and cutting-edge electric transit technology.

For more than a century, from the early development of Reno and Sparks to the bustling days of the Lincoln Highway and U.S. 40, the 4th Street/Prater Way corridor has played a central role in the region’s economy and culture. New RAPID transit service along this Lincoln Highway route honors the corridor’s rich history with eye-catching designs on the bus exteriors and stations along the route.

Proterra Blog 08 2
With eye-catching designs celebrating the historic Lincoln Highway through vintage photographs of corridor events and highlights, the new Lincoln Line zero-emission buses and stations honor the rich history of the 4th St/Prater Way corridor.

This unique project has transformed a vital transit corridor and is a shining example of positive community change made possible by public transit. By connecting downtown Reno to downtown Sparks, the route provides access to jobs and education opportunities. The project added wider sidewalks, bike lanes, landscaping, and energy-efficient LED lighting for the community. The RTC also moved utilities underground, removing poles and barriers for people with disabilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Transportation is key to everything we’re doing in this community,” said Lee Gibson, RTC Executive Director. “You have to build the bones before you can build up the community, and this project celebrates both the history and the future of the community.”

To complement the cultural experience, 17 new battery-electric Proterra Catalyst® buses were added to the fleet, bringing RTC’s total electric fleet to 21 buses. Converting to zero-emission vehicles will provide health and environmental benefits for communities along the route, and riders will enjoy a quieter, cleaner experience.

Proterra Blog 08 3
“This is where history meets innovation.” Led by U.S. Congressman Mark Amodei for Nevada’s second congressional district and Federal Transit Administration Region IX Deputy Acting Regional Administrator Edward Carranza, RTC officials and members of the community cut the ribbon to celebrate the 4th Street/Prater Way Bus RAPID Transit project.

“RTC was one of the first six cities in the U.S. to implement heavy-duty electric buses and is a great example for other agencies across the nation to learn from.  We’re proud to be working with an industry leader on innovative solutions for their community” said Ryan Popple, CEO of Proterra. “Every agency will want to come out here to see what RTC has implemented for their new Lincoln Line and their new charging stations at the depot.”

Visit for more information on the project.