In this last week of October, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) has been hosting pop-up events throughout Sparks to introduce its new FlexRIDE transportation service set to launch Nov. 2. In the six month pilot program, residents in certain areas of Sparks will be able to enjoy an on-demand rideshare service with a curbside-to-curbside amenity.
Available Monday through Friday 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday and holidays from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sparks locals will be able to book a FlexRIDE through the Transloc app on their mobile device, call (775) 335-0035, or schedule a ride through https://ondemand.transloc.com.
FlexRIDE fares are the same as taking the bus and while the ADA-accessible 12-passenger vans do not have fare boxes, riders can show their RTC RIDE pas, be taken to a transfer station to pay, or preferably, book their ride through the Transloc app.
“We were looking at different transit options as people are getting more into technology and transportation options,” says RTC Public Information Officer Lauren Ball about why the RTC is offering the new FlexRIDE. And as other communities have successfully implemented this type of transit, the RTC thought about ways to also better serve Sparks.
“When watching the service, we looked at the areas that were at the ends of Routes 25 and 26 and thought that by introducing FlexRIDE in those outlying areas would help increase the ridership,” Ball adds.
Starting Nov. 2, Routes 25 and 26 will be combined and shortened to make room for the new FlexRIDE service. Route 25 will continue to run from the RTC Centennial Plaza up 15th Street over to Prater, east and south on Howard, west on Lincoln over to McCarran heading north to Prater and back over to 15th Street and the Centennial Plaza. There will also be an additional extended service for roundtrips to and from Reed High School on Route 25.
The FlexRIDE on-demand curbside-to-curbside service is basically available in Sparks north of I-80 and east of McCarran Boulevard up to Shadow Lane around Vista, Baring, and Sparks Boulevards. Popular points of interest in this new service area include Shadow Mountain Park, Reed High School, Mendive Middle School, D’Andrea Marketplace, Moss Elementary School, Park Vista Apartments, the Outlets at Legends, and Northern Nevada Medical Center. The RTC RIDE Pass can also be used to transfer to Routes 21 and 25.
Passengers can request a trip within 30 minutes of their travel time and expect the FlexRIDE to show up within 8-15 minutes of their reservation. For instance, this is ideal for those who get out of a doctor’s appointment at the Northern Nevada Medical Center right after the bus leaves its scheduled time and they don’t want to wait another hour for the next one to come around.
This new FlexRIDE will help meet the needs of residents who need to get from one end of Sparks to the other within a desired time frame.
“We encourage people to give it a try. We’ve been talking to passengers that ride Routes 25-26 and they’re all excited to try this new service. This is inviting people to think about public transit in a whole new way,” Ball says.
For more about the new FlexRIDE and the region it covers, visit https://www.rtcwashoe.com/public-transportation/flexride/ or go to the Iron Horse Shopping Center bus stop close to the McCarran/Prater intersection on Oct. 30 from 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. or the RTC Centennial Plaza November 1-2 from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m