Dayton bus service loss isolates woman
The first day Joan Fabian took the bus from her home in Dayton to Carson City, people on board were singing songs.
The first time I rode it, I said to myself, “this is wonderful,” the 76-year-old former Carson City resident said. “People were coming from Fallon and Fernley and Silver Springs and everyone was singing. Even the driver was singing.”
It has been a month since Fabian, 76, or anyone else has been able to ride the bus into Carson from Dayton. Bus service closed Nov. 14 due to lack of local matching funds.
Fabian moved to Dayton with her husband in 1995.
“We came out here because Carson got too big,” she said. “When we moved to Carson there were only 6,500 people.”
In the intervening years, she lost her husband, son and much of her eyesight.
“I have a friend in Gardnerville who I meet for lunch in Carson,” Fabian said. “I hate to have her drive from Gardnerville out here and then back again. I’m kind of isolated out here.”
Bus service linking Silver Springs and Dayton to Carson City started in 2001.
Before it stopped, Fabian was one of between 3,000 and 4,000 people a month who used the bus service.
“I’m one of many who don’t drive,” she said. “I have my bank in Carson City. How do I get back and forth?”
Prospects for restoring bus service between Carson City and Dayton don’t look good.
While Lyon County commissioners have discussed re-establishing bus service along the Interstate 80 corridor between Fallon and Reno, they haven’t dealt with the issue yet.
Lyon County Assemblyman Tom Grady is working with Amazon.com, Fernley and Lyon County to restore service for Fernley workers.
However, that will not help Fabian in getting a ride into Carson City.
John Byrne of K-T Contract Service, the company operating the bus route until it closed, said he is trying to get the bus service restored. Under federal rules, the cost of running the service is split with the community served. If the local half is not available, then there is no money for the bus.
“We still don’t have a local match for the funds,” he said. “Something could happen. Lyon County could come up with the money, but they need a lot. But stranger things have happened.”