Busing will be a challenge on New Year’s Eve
With several times the normal population of South Shore crowding the streets for the New Year’s celebration, getting people from here to there is problematic for Area Transit Management officials.
“It’s definitely a challenge,” said ATM Operations Manager Ken Daley. “You have to have a lot more patience. We don’t turn anyone away unless they’re really unruly.
“Our goal is to get people safely to their destination.”
To do that, ATM will bring out extra buses and revise routes.
Ski buses will run on the normal schedule.
“They’ll probably run into delays in the afternoon when they get caught up in traffic,” Daley said.
Delays are possible throughout the day when cars crowd the streets. To decrease the impact, additional buses will be in operation for the evening.
From 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. New Year’s Eve, three extra STAGE buses will be on the streets. Besides the regular A Route and B Route, STAGE will operate the additional buses on an express route along U.S. Highway 50 from the South “Y” Transit Station to Stateline.
Expect the highway between the casinos to be closed beginning around 8:30 p.m. Law enforcement officials estimate about 60,000 people will converge in the street.
Once the road closes, eastbound STAGE buses will take Ski Run Boulevard to Pioneer Trail to approach Stateline. At the intersection of U.S. Highway 50 and Pioneer Trail, buses will turn left with the Shell Station bus stop serving as the turn-around point. Passengers will have to walk to the state line.
Buses on the Nevada side are expected to stop operations during the road closure because the bulk of the stops are at the casino corridor.
“We’ll try to run (Nevada buses), but our guess is that there won’t be much point,” Daley said.
Bus Plus, which offers door-to-door service, will have extra, larger vans out for the evening.
The dispatch office will extend hours to 10 p.m. to accept calls for Bus Plus rides.
Supervisors will be on hand until 4 a.m. to stay in radio contact with all bus drivers. They’ll be able to give special instructions and respond to emergencies.
“We hope it’s a safe and pleasant experience, but we have to gear up for whatever might happen,” Daley said. “We’ll keep a close watch on what’s going on. We have the option to discontinue a route if necessary. That’s never happened, but we do have that option.”
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