Plan would cut Saturday bus service |

Plan would cut Saturday bus service

by Kurt Hildebrand, Appeal staff

Carson City residents who take public transportation to Reno on Saturdays may have to find another means.

Regional transportation officials propose eliminating Saturday bus service between Carson City and Reno to cut costs.

Robert Mulvana, a member of the Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission’s citizen’s advisory committee, said he fears the service will disappear unless bus riders turn out at a meeting Thurday.

In fact, Mulvana said, Carson resident could even take the bus.

“They could get off at the airport and walk two blocks and be there right at the RTC,” he said. “It would be very convenient.”

Mulvana rides the bus from Reno to Carson City two or three times a week during the legislative session. He said he has counted as many as 30 people riding with him.

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“They do have a problem filling it up,” he said. “I’ve been on some trips with as few as three or four people. But the numbers aren’t as devastating as they are painting them.”

Mulvana said the elimination of the Saturday routes may hurt Carson’s tourist trade.

“Not all the tourists who fly in rent cars,” he said. “You have some museums down there that people are interested in visiting.”

Washoe County Regional Transportation Executive Director Greg Krause said eliminating Saturday service will take the PRIDE bus from an average of 6.9 passengers an hour to 8.5 and reduce net costs from $422,000 a year to $273,000.

“It is a pretty major savings,” he said. “We are trying to be as effective with our dollars and still keep the viability of the service.”

Under the proposal, the commission is rearranging routes to eliminate two and one-half trips Monday through Friday. The 11:21 a.m. and 1:51 p.m. buses in Carson would be eliminated. A 7:50 a.m. trip from Reno to Carson City on Monday through Friday would be added.

Krause said the issue will also be before Carson City supervisors Thursday when they close their budget.

“Originally, the state Department of Transportation was paying a majority of the cost,” Krause said. “Now both Washoe County and Carson City have to take over the cost of the service, possibly as early as June.”

PRIDE service between Carson City and Reno began August 2000.

If you go

What: Regional Transportation Commission

When: 9:15 a.m. Thursday

Where: 2050 Villanova Drive, Reno