TAHOE CITY, Calif. — As a young girl growing up in Great Falls, Mont., Jan Colyer rode the bus everywhere. After years of advocating for others to do the same as an adult, she’s moving on.
This Friday marks Colyer’s last day as executive director of the Truckee/North Tahoe Transportation Management Association, ending an eight-year career with the nonprofit.
“It’s just time for a new chapter,” Colyer said. “It’s been great, but change is good.”
Colyer started working for TMA in May 2005 and has been involved in many area transportation startup services, including the North Lake Tahoe Express, a Reno-Tahoe International Airport shuttle; the North Lake Tahoe Water Shuttle; and the free North Tahoe-Truckee Coordinated Ski Shuttle, among others.
“She was able to get a lot of things off the ground people were talking about for a long time,” said TMA board of directors chairman Will Garner.
Colyer credited her ability to do so in part to the TMA board.
“I had an opportunity to be creative,” she said. “There wasn’t necessarily a book that said, ‘this is how you’re going to do it,’ and the board gave me the opportunity to run with it, and that was really nice.”
But it wasn’t easy, she said.
“Getting it all to be seamless — to have seamless transportation for this area — and the challenges are three counties, two states for the TMA,” Colyer said. “... (Also) it’s just getting the funding, so the bus doesn’t stop on this street at this place.”
As for what she will miss the most, Colyer said it’s the people she’s worked with over the years.
Since TMA advocates for transit solutions within the Truckee/North Tahoe resort triangle by fostering public-private partnerships, Colyer has worked with many community members to see projects through.
One such person has been Ron Treabess, director of partnerships and community planning for the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.
“(Colyer) has the combination of visioning the transportation needs and then getting out there — walking the streets to make them happen,” Treabess said.
“Her enthusiasm was never waning,” added Garner, referring to Colyer’s most notable trait.
During a transit career that has spanned 30 years, Colyer has also worked for BFI Waste Systems in San Jose; Serendipity Land Yachts, a San Jose-based charter and corporate shuttle business; and the Resort at Squaw Creek.
Colyer will move to Roseville, taking a month or two to relax before looking for a new transit job, with a focus on helping people.
“After doing so much transportation for private industry, public industry, it’s nice to feel like kind of giving back,” she said. “What I’m looking for (is) something more of a human service, social service need.”
In the meantime, she will be a volunteer driver coordinator for the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery, a program that provides cancer patients with rides to and from treatments.
Jaime Wright, who’s worked for TMA since August 2008 as program manager, will become its new executive director. Wright was selected based on her performance as a TMA employee, firm grasp on the association’s many challenges and enthusiasm for improved transportation in the region, according to a TMA press release.
“I felt she (Colyer) was an amazing coach and mentor,” Wright said. “... I am extremely excited about my new role with the TNT/TMA. I see a lot of wonderful things on the horizon for the Resort Triangle.”
Wright officially starts her new role on Saturday.
To learn more about the TMA, visit www.laketahoetransit.com.