Lyon bus service restoration costs $400,000 | NevadaAppeal.com
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Lyon bus service restoration costs $400,000

by Kurt Hildebrand

Only $400,000 stands between Lyon County and bus service, but no one is coming up with the money.

Chuck Ricker, of the Northern Nevada Transit Coalition, said Thursday the coalition tried to keep the service from Fallon to Carson City running, but ran into funding problems.

“We tried to keep Lyon County running, but the state of Nevada ran out of funding and we had to shut down operations,” he said. “That included commuter runs from Fallon into Carson and Fernley.”

What happened in Lyon County is happening elsewhere, Ricker said.

“All of the agencies are running out of money, and if we can’t pay the operators so they can pay drivers, then the buses won’t run.”

He held out hope that some funding may be available from the Southern Nevada Transit Coalition, but that the real problem is coming up with matching funds.

“The problem is not federal funding,” he said. “We can’t touch that money unless we have money to match it. The source of the matching funds can be state or county, or even private donations. But we don’t have those funds coming in.”

The Northern Nevada Transit Coalition took over operation of the Lyon County bus system two years ago, cutting back costs from $1.5 million a year to about $800,000.

“I keep telling people it’s only $400,000, but nobody is writing me checks,” Ricker said.

Bus service ended in Lyon County when K-T Contract Service ceased operations in mid-November after managers learned there was little chance they would be paid in the near future, according to general manager John Byrne.

About a dozen drivers were laid off when the route stopped, according to Byrne.

The route served 3,000-4,000 riders a month when it was canceled. It was started June 2001.

Bus service continues from Reno through Carson City to northern Douglas County on weekdays.

Contact Kurt Hildebrand at hildebrand@nevadaappeal.com or call 881-1215.