Commuter bus service to Reno starts Monday

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Starting Monday Carson City residents can take public transit from their homes to the Meadowood Mall and downtown Reno.

The new Public Rural Ride or PRIDE bus system will make five morning runs and five afternoon/early evening runs from Carson City to Reno.

And at both ends, riders can start or continue their journeys at no additional cost on Reno's Citifare and Carson City Community Transportation's dial-a-ride buses. Passengers must ask drivers for a transfer slip.

Until Aug. 25, people can even ride the bus to Reno and back for free.

"For the first two weeks, we want to get people to ride it and enjoy it," said Dave Jickling, the public transportation principal planner for the Washoe County Transportation Commission.

Starting on Aug. 28, the one-way ride will cost adults $3, seniors and the disabled $1.50, and youths $2.

The scheduled ride from one end to the other takes about an hour and five minutes.

Buses will leave the Carson City Wal-Mart (precise location) at 5:30 a.m., 6:30 a.m.; 7:30 a.m.; 8:30 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.; 2 p.m.; 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The bus will make several stops in Carson City before heading off for Washoe Valley.

The route has only two stops in Reno: at Meadowood and in front of the National Bowling Stadium at Fourth and Center streets. The Meadowood stop is the shelter farthest from JC Penney at the Citifare transfer facility in the south parking lot.

The Carson City stops are at the following locations, each marked with a white-and-blue PRIDE sign:

-- Clearview Drive at Wal-Mart

-- Koontz Lane near Raley's

-- Stewart Street, northbound in front of Nevada Department of Transportation, southbound at the Carson Mall

-- Stewart Street at the Nevada Supreme Court

-- Robinson Street at the Carson Nugget

-- North Carson Street, northbound in front of Safeway, southbound across the street

-- North Carson Street at College Parkway, northbound in front of JM Furniture, southbound 200 feet south of College

People may find their own way to a bus stop or get a free ride from Carson City Community Transportation. To make use of the shuttle service from home, riders must call 887-2323 at least 24 hours in advance and schedule a pickup.

To use the shuttle on Monday, a reservations must be made today. The shuttle usually charges adults $4 for rides in the city but shuttle service to the bus is free, said Mark Reynolds, CCCT's general manager.

"The only thing I really hope is that people take a chance. Get on a bus," Reynolds said. "It's hard to talk people out of their cars."

Maybe in Carson City. Jickling said for the past five years at least a commuter bus to Carson city has logged the biggest demand for new service from Washoe RTC.

Jickling anticipates the bus service will serve more Reno residents than Carson City residents, mainly because of the larger population and also because many state employees in the capital city live in Reno.

"The immediate group we are targeting are those that drive every day and are sick and tired of it," Jickling said.

Bill Reinhard, administrative services officer at the secretary of state's office, lives in Reno and served on the transportation committee that set up the program.

"The reason I got involved was I wanted to ride a bus," Reinhard said. "I can get work done coming and going."

Commuters will get to ride in over-the-road coach buses with cloth reclining seats, a restroom and overhead storage racks. Frontier Tours is supplying four 55-seat buses, one serving as a spare.

The buses are white with a blue stripe and the RTC/PRIDE logo.

"It should be very comfortable," Jickling said. "It's not a city bus like CitiFare."


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