Contract approved for Tahoe bus-system operator |

Contract approved for Tahoe bus-system operator

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – MV Transportation Inc. will be the operator of the BlueGO bus system for the next three years.

The South Tahoe Area Transit Authority approved a contract with MV Transportation, effective Aug. 1 to June 30, 2012, with two one-year options for additional transit operations and maintenance.

“We understand your economic situation, and heard loud and clear your challenges,” said W.C. Pihl, MV Transportation vice president of business development. “We’ve gone through every single line item multiple times.”

The company has been operating the BlueGO system since December, when the South Lake Tahoe City Council voted to terminate the city’s contract with previous operator, Area Transit Management.

This was the second time the STATA Board reviewed the contract. The original contract presented in May was based on 99,382 annual service hours, at $41.18 per hour. Due to service reductions that took place on May 31, the STATA Board directed BlueGO staff to reflect the new annual service hours, BlueGO Transit Administrator John Andoh said.

The approved contract is for 79,000 annual service hours at $45.83 per hour. “This is as tight as we can go,” Pihl said.

First Transit and Silverado also bid on the contract.

– STATA approved a new fare structure for students, seniors and people with disabilities.

Now those who are eligible for discounted fares on regular routes also receive reduced rates on express routes, such as the Kingsbury Express and the Carson City route.

The age for the student fare cut off was changed from 17 to 18 years old with valid school identification. Now high school seniors who turn 18 while they are still in school can still receive a student discount, Andoh said.

– The Rappin’ Ratz will ride the Nifty 50 Trolley as part of a promotion to draw young riders.

The children’s rap group was created by Cooley Jaxson, and includes the characters Runt, Rita, Ronnie and Ruffles.

Some of their songs include “Rap about the Presidents,” “States” and “A to the B.”

BlueGO spokesman Dennis Oliver said the partnership is an effort to appeal to younger BlueGO riders, especially with the changes for student fares.

The Bianca Children’s Studio, a Nevada-based nonprofit with major funding from Big George Ventures, sponsors the group.

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