The Carson City transportation commission could vote tonight to cut the city's bus service to a Douglas County shopping center.
This would expand Jump Around Carson (JAC) service in South Carson, and, if another agreement is approved, riders would still get to the shopping center through Douglas' bus service, Douglas Area Rapid Transit (DART), which would pick up riders at a transfer point at Costco.
There would be no extra charge under the agreement and bus schedules would be coordinated. Both counties would help pay for a bus stop hut.
Carson votes on the agreement tonight. Douglas votes Feb. 21.
But, if the commission votes to cut service, Carson City buses would stop going about a mile south over the county line to the Carson Valley Plaza on Topsy Lane beginning March 1. It would instead make a loop around Snyder Avenue, Silver Sage Drive and Clearview Drive back to Carson Street, serving new customers, including shelters operated by Friends in Service Helping (FISH) and Advocates to End Domestic Violence.
Residents of these shelters have to walk about a mile to the nearest bus stop now, said Jeff Fast, interim FISH director temporarily filling in for director Monte Fast.
"Obviously, if someone can't afford a house, they probably can't afford a car, either," Fast said of the 50 residents who live at FISH's three shelters.
The disagreement between the two counties over bus service started last year when Carson City asked Douglas County to pay the $16,000 Carson said it pays each year to run buses to the shopping center.
The city sent a formal request in November. Douglas rejected the request in December.
The city transportation department followed a commission order and took comments about the route change in December and January. The department received 16 responses opposing the change.
The most important thing the city should do if it cancels service, said Jane Wiscomb, is make sure Douglas County continues the same level of service with the same hours.
Wiscomb rides from Carson City to the Douglas shopping center on Topsy Lane every week to shop at places such as Trader Joe's and Borders.
Doug Johnson, head of the Douglas County Commissioners, said he doesn't see any problem with the agreement and expects it to work well.
Richard Staub, who has been the biggest critic on the city transportation commission of cutting service, said what's most important is to make sure riders, most of whom are from Carson City, can still get to the Douglas shopping center.
Carson City started its bus system in October 2005 and pays about $450,000 a year for it. About 30 people a day ride to the Topsy Lane plaza.