Ridership triples on summer bus program

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Summer may be officially over, but Pauline Kiser of the Community Council on Youth still is feeling a warm glow.

Reports show the "Kids on the Go" summer transportation program tripled its ridership last summer since its inception in 2000.

"We're extremely excited," said Kiser, the coalition coordinator. "It shows that this program was needed, we just had to get the word out."

Kiser the coalition identified the need for a summer youth transportation system in 1997. By 2000, $15,000 was secured through grants and city supervisors approved the program.

But only about 924 students took advantage of it.

Kiser and other coalition members stepped up the advertising and, last year, partnered with the Carson City School District to build ridership.

The program ended Aug. 16 with 3,232 riders.

"We were pleasantly surprised," Kiser said.

The average age of riders is between 12 and 15.

Two buses run between June 10 and Aug. 16 with stops scheduled throughout Carson City including the library, swimming pool and movie theater.

The Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada serves as the hub where students riding the north bus can transfer to the south bus.

Kiser said it provides a valuable service for single parents or parents who work and cannot drive their children around.

It also gives youth more freedom in determining their daily activities rather than spending the entire day in one program.

"Kids have a say in what they do," Kiser said. "They can get to the pool at 10:30 then go to a movie matinee at 2 o'clock."

Kiser said the coalition plans to continue the service and expects ridership to increase even more.

"I don't see why it wouldn't," she said. "As word-of-mouth spreads, we should find more people who are interested in it."


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