Commission to ask public about canceling JAC to Douglas
Appeal Staff Writer
The city will hold meetings to see if residents want to cancel bus service to a Douglas County shopping center and will also ask the county if it will take over the route.
The Regional Transportation Commission won’t vote until February on whether to officially end Jump Around Carson (JAC) bus service to the Carson Valley Plaza on Topsy Lane. Before doing so, however, it will have already met the requirement to hold public meetings.
Douglas County commissioners turned down a request last week from the commission for the $16,000 the city says it pays to run its bus service over the county line to the shopping center.
Shelly Aldean, head of the commission, said the city has been negotiating since April with Douglas, and that she was disappointed Douglas turned down the commission’s request. Douglas didn’t even offer another proposal, she said, not even the $13,000 the county will save when Carson’s bus service takes over Washoe County’s route to the shopping center in January.
“It takes two to tango,” she said, “and we don’t have a dance partner.”
But the $16,000 isn’t worth hurting the 30 or so Carson City residents who ride the bus to Douglas to work or shop, said Commissioner Richard Staub.
“This mentality is like jumping over quarters to pick up dimes,” he said.
The commission asked staff to specifically look at transferring riders to Douglas’ bus service at Costco, less than a mile from the shopping center, so those residents could still get to Topsy Lane.
Patrick Pittenger, city transportation manager, said this would cut down on the number of people who go to the shopping center. The bus services would have to coordinate times and the governments would probably have to build a better bus stop, he said.
Also, the county’s Douglas Area Rural Transit bus service doesn’t run on Saturday like JAC.
The change would be worth it, though, Pittenger said, because bus service could increase to other parts of the city, helping out people serviced by organizations like Friends in Service Helping (FISH) and Advocates to End Domestic Violence.
Negotiations with Douglas County have been “extremely frustrating” so far, Pittenger said, and seemed to have “fallen on deaf ears.”
Commissioner Larry Hastings said he was also frustrated and asked if Carson City would have to pay Douglas for its bus service.
“If you would for me personally carry back our gracious thanks to them,” he told Douglas County Manager Dan Holler, who was at the meeting, “say ‘We’ll see you in the future some time.'”
Holler said Carson wouldn’t have to contribute to Douglas’ bus service if it does go into Carson City.
The commission will announce public meetings this month. Pittenger will collect comments for a commission meeting January 9.
• Contact reporter Dave Frank at email@example.com or 881-1212.