PRIDE bus system keeps funding

The PRIDE bus system, the only public service between Carson City to Reno, will be funded for another fiscal year, the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization decided Wednesday.

With the approval of the bus system, the city will pay $110,000 of the $272,680 that it takes to fund it. Washoe County will pay the remainder.

Fifty percent of Carson City's cost will be paid for by the Federal Transit Administration, which also funds the Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the other 50 percent must come from the supervisors' budget for public transportation.

This vote is effective July 1.

"The money paid is based on the time the bus spends in each county," said John Flansberg, city transportation manager.

The contract, shared with Reno Transportation Commission, is yearly with automatic renewals. It also allows Carson City to discontinue their funding with a 30-day notice.

In May, the organization voted unanimously to cut weekend service and trim the program to 40 routes in order to save money. The bus now runs weekdays with three round trips in the morning and three in the afternoon and one midday trip. These changes began on June 2.

"PRIDE service is as effective as it has ever been," said Roger Hanson, senior planner with Washoe County/ Reno Transportation Commission.

Hanson said nearly 50 percent of PRIDE's passengers travel from Reno to Carson City for work-related purposes. It serves an average of 10 passengers an hour, which is comparable to services of its size and nature, he added.

Commissioners are also considering expanding the service into Douglas County.

"As it stands now, we have extra time in the schedule to continue on to Douglas Country toward Wal-Mart," Hanson said. "There will be no additional operating cost. This is something we would like to pursue."

A large advertising campaign to increase ridership among Carson City riders will also be considered by the commission.


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