Man pledges $1M for Stateline to Carson Valley buses
Nevada Appeal News Service
STATELINE – On the heels of large financial donations for Douglas High School (for its track), the Boys & Girls Club in Carson Valley, South Tahoe Middle School (also for its track) and Kahle Community Center (for its exercise room), Stateline resident and former Google software engineer Ray Sidney has done it again.
On Thursday, Sidney surprised partygoers at a Harveys Resort and Casino event with the announcement that he was pledging $1 million to South Shore’s bus transportation agency BluGo.
The money would be used to provide transportation for people between Carson Valley and Stateline.
“It’s a decent commute,” Sidney said. “There is a need for public transportation.”
Sidney explained the project is a pilot program at the moment.
“We don’t want to run empty shuttle buses, so we’ll see if it works first,” Sidney said. “The ultimate goal is to help locals.”
Over three years the money will go to help BluGo get going.
“It will probably be running this summer,” Sidney said.
Sidney suggested he wanted to make financing easier for the bus company.
“It’s easier to get capital expenditures than operating costs,” he said.
“Sidney stepped up to get it going. (He) saw an opportunity to contribute to help the community and the environment,” said Harrah’s Tahoe spokesman John Packer.
“It will take several hundred thousand (dollars) each year over three years to get it up and running,” Packer said. “Eventually ridership will finance it.”
Calling Sidney “a generous philanthropist” Packer said local agencies such as the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and BluGo have some transportation money but not enough operational money to jump start the system.
“It’s a good kick of private sector wheels that will get it on the ground, eventually becoming self funding,” Packer said.
Sidney’s girlfriend said the idea developed with prominent developer Jeff Dingman’s wife and BluGo Board Chair Stacy Dingman, who talked to her husband and Sidney about the idea.
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