Concern continues over basin transit issues |

Concern continues over basin transit issues

INCLINE VILLAGE — As the agency that funds bus service in Washoe County grapples with budget problems, possible Tahoe-area building permit cuts linked to bus service may become a factor in the search for solutions.

In August, Regional Transportation Commission Executive Director Greg Krause warned that all bus lines and fares were on the table following a commission workshop in August.

But the linkage between building permits and bus service was recently pointed out by John Bohn, executive director of the Incline Village Board of Realtors.

He noted that proposed Tahoe Regional Planning Agency regulations tie the number of Tahoe Basin building permits to a county’s environmental improvements in several areas, including in public transit.

Bohn made his comments last week at a luncheon attended by top TRPA leadership.

Although Krause said bus service throughout Washoe County would be part of the solution, local concern has run high about Tahoe service because of comments made by commission member and Reno City Council member Dave Aiazzi at the August RTC workshop.

In minutes from the workshop, Aiazzi is reported as saying that Tahoe ridership is even worse than in the rest of Washoe County, and suggested that it might make sense to cut the Tahoe service.

The Tahoe service in Washoe County is provided by Tahoe Area Regional Transit under a contract with Placer County, Calif.

But Krause responded that TART was provided as a reasonable service in terms of sales tax dollars collected from county residents at Lake Tahoe.

In a letter to Krause dated soon after the workshop, Jordan Meisner, managing director of Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort and Casino, wrote that he was surprised by Aiazzi’s suggestion. He pointed out that a “significant number” of the 750 people employed by the Hyatt at its peak season use TART service to commute to work, and that elimination of “the only service currently available would be disastrous.”

In later comments, Krause said substantial service changes were months away, and would follow several public hearings on the matter.

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