Commission could stop JAC bus to Douglas
Appeal Staff Writer
Carson City’s bus service could stop less than a mile from a north Douglas County shopping center if the city’s transportation commission approves the recommendation from its staff.
Patrick Pittenger, city transportation manager, said in a report that the commission has asked Douglas for eight months for the $16,000 it pays for service to the Carson Valley Plaza on Topsy Lane. Douglas County commissioners rejected the commission’s request for the money Thursday.
If it accepts the recommendation, however, the transportation commission would have until its January meeting to officially end service, because it would have to get public comment.
The bus service would stop at Costco on West Clear Creek Road in south Carson City. The commission would have public meetings to help determine where to expand service in the city – probably along Clear Creek Avenue, Snyder Avenue, Silver Sage Drive and Clearview Drive
Two of the five members of the commission have said they’ll consider canceling the service, but two have said they probably won’t.
Commissioner Larry Hastings said “hopefully they’ll (Douglas County) see the light,” but he doesn’t want to hurt Carson City residents. The majority of the 30 people a day who ride the bus to Douglas County are from Carson City going to work or shop.
Douglas County should have at least used the $13,000 the commission saved it when JAC picked up the portion of Washoe County’s INTERCITY bus service that went to the shopping center, Hastings said. The commission saved about $50,000, too, by reducing Washoe County’s overlapping service around the city.
Shelly Aldean, head of the commission, said “it’s unfortunate for the people” that Douglas County turned down the request and commission members should do what’s “prudent.”
She has said she would consider canceling the service but also said Monday riders have let her know that the service is important to them.
Businesses in the shopping center should have tried to get Douglas commissioners to vote for the request, she said, and still could contribute to the service.
Douglas County Manger Dan Holler has said the county might send its bus service to Carson City to pick up riders.
Douglas Area Rural Transit (DART) already goes to Wal-Mart in the Carson Valley Plaza. However, it does not run on Saturday like JAC.
Allen Cornforth, a JAC rider, said he’d have to walk to shop at the plaza if service is cut. He said he likes to shop there because it has better stores, like Best Buy, than anywhere in Carson City.
“It cuts off everything,” he said.
Carson City started its bus system in October 2005 and pays $450,000 a year for it. The system has 9,000 riders a month.
• Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.
If you go
WHAT: Carson City Regional Transportation Commission
WHEN: Wednesday, following the Carson City Metropolitan Planning Organization, which starts at 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Sierra Room of the Community Center, 851 E. William St.