County will debate bus service at lake
With ridership plummeting, Douglas county leaders will consider Thursday whether to scale back or, after Dec. 31, drop its door-to-door bus routes through Stateline, Zephyr Cove, Round Hill and Kingsbury.
Facing a contract renewal for next year, commissioners meeting in Stateline will determine whether the service is cost-effective. Last year, 14,856 people rode the bus, compared to 32,064 people when ridership peaked in 1997. The result last year was a $20,000 net loss to the county.
The county contracts directly with the Tahoe Transportation District and Area Transit Management, which has informed transportation officials that it faces insurance and other increases next year amounting to about $23,000. Douglas County has contributed about $134,000 annually to the bus service.
Country engineer Jeff Folts recommends leaders ask the Nevada Department of Transportation to pay $50,000 for the remainder of this year and $70,000 next year to keep the service.
If the department opts not to increase its funding for the bus service, then the county should consider termination of the service, Folts wrote in a staff report.
If it does, Folts is recommending the board should agree to continue the bus service at the same level. The bus operates from 7:15 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week from September to the third week in June.
Bus officials say they are planning changes to the route to increase ridership, including adding stops at Trend West Resort, Lake Vista Apartments and new apartments along Kingsbury Grade. The new route would complete a round trip through the Stateline region once every hour. Bus fare is $1.25 one-way, $2 all-day and $3 one-way flex route.
In other business, the commission will consider:
n A request from Tahoe Shores Mobile Home Park for a rent ordinance. Bruce Williams of the Stateline Homeowners Association told commissioners Nov. 7 negotiations with the park owners were rebuffed. The association seeks an emergency rent ordinance to control, what they claim, are exorbitant rent increases.
The county commissioners meet at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Douglas County Administration Building, 175 Highway 50 East, Stateline.
— The Tribune News Service contributed to this report
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