South Lake Tahoe to Carson City, Nevada, bus route ‘temporarily’ canceled
The bus route from the South Shore to Carson City is “temporarily” canceled as of Oct. 1, said officials from Tahoe Transportation District.
The Valley and Lake Express route “21x” was discontinued due to a funding issue, said TTD district manager Carl Hasty.
In December, TTD changed its federal designation from rural to urban, which opened up a five-year funding opportunity, versus year-to-year discretionary funding.
“That’s not something that Tahoe has had before. So that was a good thing. That would have been OK for us if one other little event hadn’t happened in getting this language changed,” said Hasty.
“There’s two factors important in the transit funding formula: population and density. So the population was there, but the density component was not included as we were going through the conference committee and putting all this together. And that affects how much you get in your formula.”
As a result, funding is not available for the route to and from Carson City.
“So now we are pursing that fix, but in the meantime there’s a consequence here,” said Hasty.
Hasty said that TTD understands that the route to and from Carson City is important for commuters and others who go off the hill for medical service, school and shopping.
“It’s important to our economy here,” he said.
To compensate for the loss of the route, Hasty said TTD has “streamlined” the route from South Shore to Minden-Gardnerville and on to Carson City.
To hasten time, a few stops have been eliminated on the 19x route, which Carson City riders can take to Minden, and the 20x route that they can transfer to go up Kingsbury Grade to Stateline. There is no local bus route that takes riders from Stateline to Zephyr Cove and beyond along the eastern shore of the lake where the temporarily discontinued route once traveled.
“It takes a little longer, but you can still get there,” added Hasty.
Hasty said the timeline for bringing the direct route to Carson City back depends on when Congress pushes the federal funding change through. It could be up to a year.
Anne Knowles contributed to this report.