The express bus route between Carson City and South Lake Tahoe may end next month unless a new source of funding is found to keep the service running.
Transportation Manager Patrick Pittenger told the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Tuesday the Tahoe Transportation District is no longer able to receive federal funds for the route through the Nevada Department of Transportation, which means service could end Sept. 30.
The funds used were for rural transit, but under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, a federal law passed in 2015, Tahoe is now designated a large urban area.
“They sought the change and got it, and overall it’s a positive change, but this is an unintended consequence,” said Pittenger.
The BlueGo 21x route has been running for five years and has grown to 25,000 rides a year, said Pittenger.
Many of the riders are commuters and several Tahoe Basin employers spoke at the recent TTD meeting, saying they were worried about employees being able to get to work, said Sondra Rosenberg, a non-voting CAMPO member representing NDOT.
Pittenger said TTD is trying to find another source of funding, but otherwise the service will end before Oct. 1, the start of the new federal fiscal year.
CAMPO also prioritized three applications for federal Transportation Alternatives Program grant money.
The three applicants in the order they were prioritized were the Carson City freeway multi-use path, which was requesting $750,000 for design and construction of a path along I-580 from Colorado Street to just north of Fairview Drive; the Dayton Railway Museum, which is asking for $424,928.62 to restore and preserve the 1881 Carson & Colorado Railroad depot; and the South Carson Street Safety and Mobility Improvements project which is requesting $750,000.
CAMPO also approved the 2040 Regional Transportation Plan.
The Regional Transportation Commission, which met after CAMPO, awarded two contracts.
Slurry Seal Inc. will be doing 1,084,000 linear feet of long-line striping around the city under a contract not to exceed $178,446.40 and Titan Electrical Contracting, Inc. will be doing signal and safety improvements, including adding flashing yellow turn signals, at the intersections of Carson Street and Winnie Lane and Robinson and Roop streets under a contract not to exceed $454,347.30.
Pittenger said there will be a presentation and open house on the design study to be done on South Carson Street to seek public input on the project.
The open house will be held at Fuji Park on Sept. 22 starting at 5 p.m.