They're calling it the Virginia City Express. Travelers between Carson City and Virginia City will soon have another transportation option other than vehicle or train - the bus.
In a partnership with Storey County's regional transportation department, the Jump Around Carson (JAC) buses will make four roundtrips to the Comstock every Wednesday starting Oct. 7, said Carson City Transportation Director Patrick Pittenger.
"The V&T train is good for tourism and redevelopment and a lot of other good things, but it's not a viable transportation option for seniors," Pittenger said.
Virginia City Planner Austin Osborne said the interlocal agreement with Carson City was easily reached because Virginia City and Carson City are in the same transportation region to qualify for funding.
"I've been working on this for a year because a lot of seniors in our community don't have cars and need to get to Carson for appointments and shopping," Osborne said.
"Carson City was really great to work with, and this is going to be a huge benefit to our seniors and disabled residents with very little cost to us and none to Carson City," he said.
Riders can catch the bus in Carson City at the main transit station at the federal building near the Nugget or at Gold Dust West on U.S. 50. Stops in Virginia City include the train station, the senior center and the Delta parking lot.
Fares will be $4 one way for adults, or $2 for seniors or the disabled. Discounted 10-ride passes also are available.
Riders taking the bus from other points in Carson City to get to the transit station for the Virginia City Express don't pay more than $4.
"So, you can get on at the north Walmart for $1, and if you want to go on to Virginia City, it would be only another $3 instead of $4," he said.
JAC also partners with Washoe County's RTC for service to and from Reno, as well as with BluGo with services to Tahoe's Stateline.
Osborne is offering a free "Ride with the Planner" for Virginia City seniors Oct. 7, the first day of service. And all passengers between the two cities can ride for free all day.
Boys & Girls Clubs added
Pittenger said Carson City is also adding service directly to the new Boys & Girls Clubs on Russell Way, with 12 stops a day for each of two routes.
"Our clockwise route and our counter-clockwise route now go directly into their parking lot so kids don't have to cross the street to get the bus," he said.
"The key word again is partnership. We worked closely with Hal Hansen (club director). They've been a partner to Carson City in so many ways, so we wanted to partner with them," Pittenger said.
Free senior passes
Pittenger also reminds seniors who were able to take advantage of JAC's free bus service this past year that it's time to renew their passes.
"Last year we got a grant so all seniors 60 and over could ride for free and we've issued 750 free passes since then," he said.
"With nearly 4,000 free rides provided in July and again in August, we expect to have provided 50,000 free trips for seniors this year," he said. "It's a wonderful program and it didn't cost Carson anything."
Funding for the program came from a state grant as a result of the tobacco settlement.
"But those passes expire at the end of September, so all 750 of those seniors need to get new passes before the end of this month," he said.
Seniors can register or renew their passes from
11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sept. 17, 22, 23 and 30 at the senior center, 901 Beverly Drive.