Another view: More research for waterborne transit |

Another view: More research for waterborne transit

North Lake Tahoe Bonanza

When it comes to the prospect of a trans-Tahoe ferry, complete with a stop in Incline Village, the Bonanza is willing to follow the advice of the county, TRPA, IVGID and residents who have spent countless hours volunteering time and resources attending Pathway 2007 forums as well as Incline Vision meetings.

That advice: Do the due diligence; participate in any feasibility study and take advantage of the $8 million of federal funds already allocated to the TRPA to study the efficacy of a water transit system before reaching any hard and fast conclusions.

The waterborne transit issue looks like it will be a divisive one.

Last week, after hearing a presentation from waterborne transit advocate Carl Cross, several Incline residents were dismayed at the prospect of Incline Village General Improvement District giving away land and parking.

The land in question is a stretch of Hermit Beach, which is bordered by the Hyatt and Incline Creek; parking is the overflow, or boat parking lot across from Incline Beach.

While we agree that IVGID should not give two such invaluable resources away for nothing, we also believe, again, that it is worth taking the time to see exactly what could be on the table for IVGID, as well as what local law enforcement and fire officials say about the ability to use a terminal for public safety operations as well.

Those who are culling information need to remember that nearly all public transit systems, including ferries and buses, lose money.

That said, ferry systems can work:

The Washington State Department of Transportation is revamping its Seattle Ferry Terminal to accommodate its 9 million-plus riders per year.

“Walk-on passengers will triple by 2030 and on the Bainbridge and Bremerton routes, overall ridership is projected to double over the next 25 years. These ferries are a critical part of the state highway system,” a WSDOT report states.

We realize Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe are not Seattle, but there are some 8 million visitors per year to the basin and, according to one county official, a waterborne transit system “is one component that has been neglected.”

Whether you’re for it or against it, we need to work toward finding how a waterborne transit system would affect our village – positively or negatively.

We need to remember that Incline Village is part of the Lake Tahoe Basin. By acting too hastily, we may affect the sustainability of our community for decades to come.

– From the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza in Incline Village.

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