Carson City cuts JAC to Douglas, OKs replacement

Carson City voted Thursday to cut bus service to a Douglas County shopping center, but residents will likely still be able to ride there.

The transportation commission vote came after months of debate with Douglas County and within the city itself. The city had wanted Douglas to pay the $16,000 a year the city says it spends running buses to the shopping center.

But some transportation commissioners worried that cutting Jump Around Carson (JAC) service to the Carson Valley Plaza would hurt Carson City residents, who are the majority of riders to the shopping center.

Service from city buses will stop on March 1 north of the Carson City-Douglas County border, about a mile from the shopping center, and loop around Snyder Avenue, Silver Sage Drive and Clearview Drive back to Carson Street.

This route change will serve new customers, including shelters operated by Friends in Service Helping (FISH) and Advocates to End Domestic Violence.

Carson City riders will still be able to get to the shopping center if Douglas County commissioners approve an agreement at their Feb. 21 meeting that will send their bus service, Douglas Area Rapid Transit (DART), to a transfer point near Costco on Old Clear Creek Road.

Doug Johnson, head of the commission, has said he thinks the agreement will work.

Douglas County staff also endorse the agreement, said Carson City Transportation Manager Patrick Pittenger. He said he is "reasonably confident" commissioners will approve it.

Douglas would also pay $1,600 to build a bus hut at the transfer point under the agreement.

Carson and Douglas have already made "great progress" on coordinating bus schedules, Pittenger said.

It would not cost extra to transfer.

The months of arguing has been "very long and laborious," said Shelly Aldean, head of the transportation commission. Cutting service and making the agreement is the best the city could get, however, since Douglas refused to pay Carson.

She said she appreciated that Douglas worked with Carson at least on this step.

"Maybe this is a portent of things to come," she said. "We can only hope."


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