GARDNERVILLE -- Less than a year after launching bus service for much of the Carson Valley, Douglas Area Rural Transit is likely to expand its service to Indian Hills by late spring and possibly Stateline by summer.
"We're seeing outlying areas in the county gaining ridership and see the potential for the north end of the county seeing ridership," said Warren Bottino, transportation coordinator for Douglas County.
DART was contacted by Indian Hills General Improvement District leaders, who asked Bottino to include Indian Hills in route service to Carson City. He said the plans should come to fruition in about two months and that it shouldn't cost any more money to provide the additional stops.
"We have no problems adding more routes," Bottino said. "Recently, we've taken on Johnson Lane and Genoa because people told us they had the desire to ride the bus. We've been able to spread out our services to accommodate them without any problem."
Sandi McGrew-Stanio, NDOT transportation manager, said she's confident a mass transit plan between Carson Valley and Stateline will be under way by summer.
"We've got a lot of employees and a lot of cars, 2,000 a day, traveling from Minden and Gardnerville to the casinos for work. We know there's a need for public transportation," McGrew-Stanio said.
NDOT is looking into a seven-day-a-week bus pick-up and departure operation that would start at the Park and Ride lot at the base of Kingsbury Grade and Foothill Road.
Buses would travel up the grade, stopping along Tramway near the Ridge Resort, and then work their way to Stateline, stopping at the casinos.
Return buses would stop at the casinos and near the county's Tahoe administration building, where a new parking structure will be built.
The buses will go up the grade, back through to the Ridge Resort, and end at the Park and Ride lot at Foothill Road.
Money to develop the bus system will come from the federal level with some matching funds required. McGrew-Stanio said several funding options are available, including possible subsidizing from casinos.
NDOT is currently developing time lines that take into consideration the shift hours of casino workers to get an idea how many fixed routes will be needed.
"We know the major employers of the county are in Stateline and they are in the casinos," she said. "Many of the jobs are low paying, and many of the casino employees are one-car families. We know the casinos are excited about this because transportation for employees has been an issue since many workers can't afford to live at the Lake."
Bus information call:
PRIDE service Reno to Carson and back1-866-NV-PRIDE
DART service in Douglas County call 783-6456
PRIDE service to Fallon to Fernley or Fallon to Carson City serving, Stagecoach, Silver Springs, Dayton and east Carson City 1 (866) 575-0252