JAC not profitable, but still worthwhile for Carson | NevadaAppeal.com

JAC not profitable, but still worthwhile for Carson

The Jump Around Carson bus service will never be a money maker, and if it were a private business it would have shut down long ago.

But that’s the way of all public transportation systems, and it’s not a signal that the system won’t work in Carson City. It was never intended to pay for itself – most of the money comes from federal sources with local fares contributing less than 20 percent.

But one thing is certain – the system needs more riders to justify the expense of operating it – even if most of the funds that cover those expenses aren’t locally generated.

Initially, forecasts said the system could expect 193,000 riders the first year, but with just two months left to go there have been only about 42,000 riders.

That’s why a new campaign to market the system and get more riders makes sense. The Regional Transportation Commission granted $70,000 to the effort this week.

We’ll also be seeing other changes: routes will be better marked, schedules will be easier to read and more stops will have shelters and benches.

Nevada’s capital city should have a respectable public transportation system, but if the system doesn’t attract more riders than it does now there may come a day to look at scaling JAC back.

So consider taking a ride on a JAC bus to see if it’s for you. It has a lot of advantages, and you’ll be hearing a lot about them in the coming months.