Coordinated Transit System finally a go
Over the next 14 months, South Shore will become the birthing place of possibly one of the most technologically advanced transportation systems in the world, according to Dick Powers, executive director of South Shore Transportation Management Association.
City, county and business representatives witnessed the culmination of five years of negotiations and planning Thursday as Mark Miller, CEO of Trapeze Software Group, Inc., signed an agreement to develop and implement a transportation software package.
“We’ve been talking for years about creating a coordinated transit system. A tremendous amount of work has led to this point,” Powers said. “To our knowledge, this cutting-edge product will be the first of its kind in the United States, and maybe even the world.”
Once established, the Coordinated Transit System will include a fleet of uniform vehicles – ranging from vans to full-size buses – and a software operating system which will make catching a bus user-friendly, simple and fast. The goal of the project is to incorporate current transportation systems including casino vans, STAGE, Bus Plus, Nifty 50 Trolleys and Heavenly shuttles into one system, in the hopes of reducing traffic and improving air quality.
“This is an extremely creative project. I think Tahoe is setting the stage for many important things to come all across the country,” said Jim Baetge, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency executive director. “The fact that we can do this involving public and private entities is something that would have been impossible 10 years ago.”
The stakeholders for the project include Heavenly Ski Resort, Harveys Resort & Casino, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Caesars Tahoe, Horizon Casino Resort, Lakeside Inn & Casino, El Dorado County, Douglas County, the city of South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the Tahoe Transportation District.
“You have gotten through all the political battles, I think this is a real opportunity to take transportation to a whole new level,” said Miller, who works out of the company’s Scottsdale, Ariz., office. “However, people need to keep in mind there will be challenges in the project because this has never been done before.”
According to Powers, the entire system should be up and running by Oct. 1, 2000.
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