New transit administrator is helping steer BlueGO toward its list of goals
As BlueGO’s first transit administrator, John Andoh is planning to shake things up in Tahoe’s public transportation sector.
Since starting his job in February, Andoh hasn’t wasted any time immersing himself in BlueGO operations and voicing ideas on how to improve them.
Stacy Dingman, South Tahoe Area Transit Authority board secretary, said Andoh has catapulted the board in the direction it wants to go.
And his enthusiasm for the job showed in his planning for Friday’s board meeting.
“Thank you for the 92-page agenda,” board President Nancy McDermid said to Andoh after the meeting. “My printer hasn’t fully recovered.”
McDermid said with the addition of Andoh, the board is shifting gears and accelerating. With gas prices escalating, people are giving public transportation a second look.
“BlueGO has had its ups and downs, and this is going to be a rebirth in the service,” said Nick Haven, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency transportation team leader.
The ultimate goal the board has been working toward is to have a coordinated, cohesive transit system, Andoh said.
At the meeting, the board made headway on many issues, including the possible resurrection of 24-hour bus service.
As a single mother who works, Nora Butler expressed to the board the importance of bringing back the 24-hour bus service. She doesn’t own a car, so when the service terminated, she had to take a taxi to her job, which could cost up to $50 per week.
“It’s a very important part of this community to have this,” Butler said.
In January, overnight service was discontinued in order to provide Americans with Disabilities Act Paratransit during the day. To date, the service hasn’t carried any riders, and it’s duplicated through the El Dorado County Special Needs Program.
Rick Angelocci, South Lake Tahoe assistant city manager and STATA board member, said he’s anxious to get back to the 24-hour service.
A public forum will be held at the next board meeting in June to gather public input. Then the South Lake Tahoe City Council will vote on whether to bring back the service.
Other BlueGO projects include increasing ridership on the Kingsbury Express, improving routes and working with other transit agencies on around-the-lake service.
Before joining BlueGO, Andoh began his career in public transportation when he was 13 with an internship at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. He said he’s always had a passion for public transportation.
His most recent positions include serving as assistant transit manager for the city of Elk Grove and part-time transit services manager for the city of Benicia.
He improved mobility and increased ridership by 25 percent in Benicia and more than 55 percent in Elk Grove in his three years there.
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