Proposition 51 would bring dollars to Tahoe |

Proposition 51 would bring dollars to Tahoe

A proposition on the ballot Tuesday would provide $18 million over three years to the Lake Tahoe Basin for waterborne transit projects.

Proposition 51, sponsored by a group called the Planning and Conservation League, would use about $1 billion out of the state’s general fund sales tax revenue to fund 17 transportation and environmental projects in California.

The portion of the money for the Lake Tahoe Basin would go toward the “design and purchase of alternatively-fueled boats, fuel stations, infrastructure and dock improvements,” according to the proposition.

The proposition is controversial and if it passes, it still may be challenged in court, said Steve Teshara, co-chair of the Lake Tahoe Transportation and Water Quality Coalition.

Carol Chaplin, director of communication and planning at Aramark, which owns the Meteor, a 90-seat motorboat used to shuttle people around the lake, said the money would be helpful for start-up waterborne services.

“One issue on both sides of the lake is parking,” Chaplin said. “Another issue is money to deal with the parking issue. We have to make it not be a pain for the private person to get on (the boat) and use it.”

The Meteor began shuttling people across the lake last winter. This summer, its business fizzled as an operating permit came late in the season. It couldn’t dock on the East Shore because of low water and was not allowed to dock at Tahoe City.

The shuttle service ended up running only in July. This winter, the Meteor will not shuttle skiers and boarders to the North Shore. Chaplin said the Tahoe Queen, another boat owned by Aramark, will provide the service.

“In order to do it right, we have to take a step back before we can take a step forward,” Chaplin said. “(In July) we got some good information. If Proposition 51 passes, it might be a lot easier to work it out.”

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at

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