New transit service in Incline to offer free curb-to-curb service

Staff Report


INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — A new transit service pilot program on Lake Tahoe’s North Shore offers residents and visitors free rides to help mitigate traffic congestion during peak visitation this summer.

TART Connect micro-transit is an on-demand, app-based service that allows for users to call for a ride from anywhere within one of three service areas within North Lake Tahoe starting on Thursday, June 24.

The three service zones for TART Connect include: Dollar Hill to Tahoma, Tahoe Vista to the state line at Kings Beach and Crystal Bay and Incline Village.

Users who wish to travel farther can use TART Connect to make a connection with the TART public transit service that links Truckee, the North Shore and Incline Village. TART Connect will run from 8 a.m. to midnight from June 24 through Sept. 6. As many as 11 vehicles will be available at any given time with a goal that users will wait no more than 15 minutes after summoning a ride.

The Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau is providing nearly $200,000 to fund TART Connect in the Incline Village and Crystal Bay zone.

“We expect a very busy summer in North Lake Tahoe,” said President/CEO of the visitors bureau Andy Chapman. “Visitors and residents alike will enjoy the convenience of this app-based service, while contributing to the sustainability of Lake Tahoe through the use of public transit enhancements.”

Chapman also said the visitors bureau will work with regional partners to build awareness of the service among visitors.

While the IVCBVB provided funding for the new service, it contracted with the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association to oversee operation of TART Connect.

Christine Maley-Grubl, executive director of the Truckee North Tahoe TMA, noted that the organization’s mission includes development of innovative solutions to meet the unique transportation challenges of the region.

“TART Connect provides first-mile, last-mile service, filling one of the gaps in our public transportation network,” Maley-Grubl said. “This 75-day pilot program will help us better understand the best ways to address transit needs in the region.”

The Tahoe Transportation District, meanwhile, has provided the legal operating authority to Squaw Downtowner LLC, the private company that will provide the vehicles, drivers and software for the service for the Nevada North Lake Tahoe Zone.

“Micro-transit is an important step toward improved accessibility and sustainability throughout the Lake Tahoe region,” said Carl Hasty, manager of the transportation district. “TART Connection fits closely with our district’s long standing goals.”

Squaw Downtowner LLC already operates the Mountaineer transportation service at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.

“Our parent company provides transit services in resort communities across the country,” said Stephen Murray, Downtowners co-founder. “We pride ourselves on simplifying the transit experience for riders through the use of sophisticated software and excellent service. We are excited to work with our regional partners to offer TART Connection micro-transit to North Lake Tahoe.”

For more information, visit tahoetruckeetransit/summer21.

TART Connect users who want to book a ride by phone can call 1-530-214-5811 starting Thursday, June 24.

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