Carson OKs PRIDE extension to Wal-Mart |

Carson OKs PRIDE extension to Wal-Mart

Karl Horeis

PRIDE bus service is a step closer to the new Wal-Mart after members of the Carson Area Metropolitan Planning Organization on Wednesday approved the extension with a unanimous vote.

Two more groups must approve the longer route before it will begin: the Douglas County Commission and Washoe County’s Regional Transportation Commission.

“They’ll approve it too,” said David Jickling, director of public transportation for the Washoe County transportation agency. “We’re hoping to make this happen by the first of December.”

The new plan would add to the current route without removing any Carson City stops. New stops would be on Topsy Lane between Borders bookstore and the new Wal-Mart, on Old Clear Creek Road between Costco and Fuji Park and on the south side of Clearview.

The move would reduce the amount Carson City pays for the service by $6,198. That money would be paid by Douglas County which set aside funding Nov. 6. The figure is based on the ratio of time the bus would spend in each county, according to Carson City Transportation Manager John Flansberg.

Carson City pays $76,472 a year for PRIDE bus service – 39 percent of the total. The Regional Transportation Commission pays $119,611.

The signs for the new stops are already made and can be put up in a matter of days, Jickling said.

He said the move is aimed at serving shoppers at the new center on Topsy Lane.

“We have received a number of calls both from Wal-Mart management as well as prospective employees asking whether we could extend the route,” he said.

Carson City transportation commissioner Bob Kennedy asked whether stores could be asked to help fund the service.

“This has got to benefit them tremendously because we’re bringing customers to their stores,” he said.

Flansberg and Jickling said they would look into it.

If the longer route is approved, it will not change the current schedule or pickup times. Layover time the busses would no longer spend parked at the old Carson City Wal-Mart would be used for the additional travel.

Douglas County is scheduled to weigh the route extension during a meeting Nov. 20 while the transportation commission will discuss the plan Nov. 21.

Jickling’s progress report on PRIDE bus service, which began as a two-year demonstration project in 2000, included a summary, in which he said most of the riders are adult workers commuting between Reno and Carson.

Riders headed north along Stewart Street on Wednesday agreed.

“It’s convenient because I live in Reno and work in Carson,” said Michael DelOstia, a staff engineer at the Department of Transportation.