For the past six years, Carson City residents who've wanted to get somewhere on a city bus had to call and schedule a pick-up. Four dollars later the passenger is at his or her destination.
Michael Dulude, Carson City transit/transportation planner since January, stood before the Carson City Board of Supervisors this month and introduced the first citywide transit system. The general public would pay $1 and seniors 50 cents for a one-way trip.
Although public comment on this $1 million plan was minimal, city supervisors approved the four-route system that includes a downtown transfer station from which three buses will depart, then loop through the north part of town. One bus will travel south as far as Koontz Lane.
Dulude, 47, said Carson City's development of a bus system will help students, the elderly and workers who can't afford a car get to where they need to go. The bus routes are scheduled on begin Oct. 1.
What's your job?
It is a multi-faceted job dealing with transit planning, operations, transportation planning - including, but not limited to: bicycle transportation, pedestrian transportation and railroad transportation. I work with the residents of Carson City. I also work with the federal, state, and other local governments. I act as staff for the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and Regional Transportation Commission, to name a few.
Why did you come to Carson City?
There are a couple of reasons: the availability of a job in my field of education and experience is one reason. My wife's family is from Ely. We have always enjoyed our trips into Nevada and thought we would enjoy living here some day - well, that someday came.
Do you have a family?
My wife, Dianne, and I will have been married 15 years in May. We have one son, Chase, who is 14 months old. We like the outdoors - camping, fishing, hiking, to name a few - and the rodeo.
What has been your most successful accomplishment?
Here there is a tie. One is marrying my wife. I couldn't have done any better; she does a lot for me, our son, and our family. The other is our son - what a gift from God and a blessing he is.
What is it going to take to make Carson City's new transit plan a success?
Education, marketing, cooperation, proper planning and good communication.
What do you say to those critics who say that the transit plan is too expensive?
This is an interesting question. We have very few public transit services pay for themselves 100 percent. Those that do are those that have been established for a very long time and are in areas where the population density is very high (New York City). Even in Europe, public transit does not pay for itself - one of the reason their gasoline prices are higher is to help fund public transportation.
Is Oct. 1 going to be a nail-biting day for you?
No, not really. If education, marketing, cooperation, and good communication occur, things should go fairly well. And if we make sure we have done a proper job of planning.
Will you ever ride the bus?
Yes; however, would you, your family or friends be willing to ride the bus?