TAHOE/TRUCKEE — Due to lack of snow, service for the North Lake Tahoe free skier shuttle is being curtailed for the remainder of the season.
“It’s never easy to cut anything in the middle of a season, but sometimes circumstances out of our control force us to make these decisions,” said Jaime Wright, executive director of the Truckee/North Tahoe Transportation Management Association.
The fixed route service — which ran between Incline Village and Squaw Valley and between Homewood and Squaw — ceased Feb. 1, Wright said.
A voucher program in partnership with certain Placer County lodging properties will continue, however.
Vouchers can be requested at the front desk of the properties, allowing guests free use of existing TART routes. Some resorts serviced by TART include Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Homewood and Northstar.
“(This is) so we can definitely keep the program intact in some format this season, but still be able to save bottom-line costs,” Wright said.
Originally, the program was expected to cost $101,181 this winter, but with the service reduction, Wright said funding partners will collectively save approximately $38,000, mostly in operating costs.
The shuttle is funded privately by Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and Homewood, along with public Placer County Transient Occupancy Tax funds through the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.
TOT is a charge added to the cost of a room — motel, hotel, condominium — paid by visitors to the area who stay fewer than 30 days.
As for the future of the pilot program, Wright is optimistic.
“I’m pretty confident that we will be brining something similar, if not this program, back next year,” she said.
This winter, TART shuttled visitors to and from Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Homewood on a two-bus fleet during weekends and holiday weeks, while Northstar was accessible through vouchers.
To view TART schedules, visit www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/Works/Transit/TART.