Establishing transportation funding source should be priority for Tahoe leaders

Carl Hasty
Guest column

Last month President Joe Biden signed into law the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in, among other fundamentals, the kinds of public transit that will improve the lives of millions of people around the country — including right here in the greater Lake Tahoe region.

If we don’t act quickly, we may not be able to leverage these funds and Lake Tahoe could be left behind.

Carl Hasty

H.R. 3684 is a massive bill that includes $550 billion for public transit, bridges and roads, and infrastructure projects. More than $459 million of that total will go to improve public transportation across the state of Nevada and $9.45 billion for public transit in California.

United States Senators Catherine Cortez-Masto and Jackie Rosen from Nevada and Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla from California were instrumental in securing these funds for our regions, as well as US Representative John Garamendi.

We cannot afford to let this historic federal investment pass us by. And let’s make no mistake — this is not a one-time solution for Lake Tahoe’s ambitious goals to plan ahead for the next 100 years. It’s important to note that nearly all federal infrastructure funding requires local funding participation, known as “local match,” at some level to be considered for an award of funding. Today, there is no sufficient regional match funding source to help secure dollars for infrastructure and transportation projects at Lake Tahoe.

The Tahoe Transportation District and regional leaders have been working tirelessly to secure a regional funding source among its partners at Lake Tahoe for years. The time is now to come together and finally agree upon a funding source that will establish a consistent and predictable revenue source to maintain and fund future projects at Lake Tahoe.

Establishing such a funding program should be a priority for the leadership of all the various entities responsible for transportation in our region. This, along with this federal funding, is the keystone to a more sustainable future at Lake Tahoe.

My call to action for everyone reading this is: Please support your local representatives and state leaders as they seek transportation solutions that are vital to our region and let them know you support developing a strategy for regional revenue to ensure Tahoe secures our share of this funding.

Carl Hasty is the district manager for Tahoe Transportation District.

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