Letter: Bus ride to Reno made for nicest day

I just had the nicest day. I took the new "Pride" bus from Carson City to Reno and left the driving to a nice, polite and courteous bus driver in a clean, air-conditioned, comfortable, tinted-window bus complete with bathroom!

I started my normal Carson City-Reno commute day Tuesday morning by convincing my husband to pick me up after work at the Kmart bus stop on North Carson Street. He agreed. Per usual, I drove to Reno dodging crazed construction workers in oversized pickup trucks, comatose commuters who believe cruise control at 80-plus mph renders them impervious to NHP radar, large trucks who live by the commandment "might is right," and the occasional senior citizen just trying to stay alive.

I parked in the office garage, went about my work day, drove to the gym during lunch, returned to work, and finished the day by walking a few blocks from my downtown Reno office to the 4th and Center Street bus depot. The bus stop is directly in front of the National Bowling Stadium. Two nice teenage boys (yes, they do exist!) with their mountain bikes confirmed to me that it was the bus stop.

They told me it was "cool," that they had taken the bus from Carson City to Meadowood Mall earlier in the day, checked out the mall, and rode their bikes downtown to catch the bus home. I was encouraged.

At 5:20 p.m., the "Pride" bus turned the corner and parked in front of me. I boarded the bus and settled down to read. What a luxury!

The ride home was efficient, uneventful and scenery from the bus was great! If I wanted to, I could get off the bus at Meadowood Mall, shop for an hour, and catch the 6:34 bus home. Hmmm, now there's a thought. The bus arrived on time on North Carson Street at the Carson City Kmart and my husband was there to meet me. So far, so good.

The only kink in the system, it seemed, was that if I wanted to leave my car in Reno during the week, my husband would have to drive me to and from the bus stop. However, when I got home, I read your article (Nevada Appeal Aug. 15) about the new bus system, and I learned there were more "Pride" bus stops than I had been aware of.

The "Pride" bus stop on Robinson Street at the north end of the Carson Nugget, five blocks from my home, is perfect for me. So, the only "kink" in the system has been solved.

This morning I boarded the "Pride" bus on Robinson Street and I asked for a transfer to the Reno Citifare bus system. When the bus arrived in downtown Reno, I walked across the street, waited five minutes and boarded the No. 1 Citifare bus to my office six blocks south on Virginia Street.

I arrived at work rested and, I admit, with a modest smirk on my face. I won't be able to ride the bus every workday because of personal and business commitments, but I am certainly going to take it whenever I can.

For downtown Reno or Carson City workers who live in the opposite towns, this bus is the answer to our dreams. The bus is free until Aug. 25 and then will be $3 per trip - $6 a day. For my car, this is slightly higher than the cost of gas, but when I factor in the cost of tires and car maintenance, it's a big savings. And the best part is the saving on moi.

For mid-day shoppers to Meadowood Mall, the bus is a direct shot - door to door. It doesn't get better than that. For senior citizens, it's a safe, clean way to get to Reno more often.

Please, let's not squander this opportunity to solve what has been a transportation nightmare by lack of use! Wake up, get out of your car, get on the "Pride" bus, and make it work for you. It's not a perfect nor complete system yet, but with community support and ridership, it can and will be better.

Folks, it's a new day in Carson City! Let's not blow it.

PATRICIA COOPER-SMITH

Carson City

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