County hopes to link up to bus service
Within the next few months, state and county officials hope a new public transportation system will link Douglas County to Carson City and Reno.
PRIDE – Public Rural Ride – made its first run Aug. 14 between Carson City and Reno, with low fares for riders onboard a luxury bus coach. For now, Douglas County residents must drive to Wal-Mart in Carson City to catch the bus.
However, expansion to Douglas County is likely still months away, due to questions raised by the county commissioners about where funds will come from after federal grants for the program run out, said John Admunson, Gardnerville member of the Nevada Silver-Haired Forum.
The Forum, which found many rural areas desperate for bus service to employment, education, medical facilities and recreation areas, was assisted in its efforts by Sen. Lawrence Jacobsen, R-Minden.
Jacobsen convinced his legislative colleagues to pass a bill last year for $300,000 o create a transportation system. Federal funds were also available, restricted to the rural areas.
“Douglas County has to buy into the idea and subsidize it,” Amundson said.
Once the program is in place, good ridership is essential to its success, he said.
According to Douglas County Community Services Director Scott Morgan, residents have expressed a need for the program, as well as support. However, aside from funding, he linked slow progress to an eight-month delay in the completion of the Carson City-Reno line.
“We’re very committed to the success of a Douglas County PRIDE system,” he said. “We’re in the process of reviewing an agreement with Frontier Tours and advertising for a transportation coordinator to put together the Douglas County PRIDE link.”
Public meetings to discuss internal transportation and coordination with PRIDE and form an advisory board are also planned, Morgan said.
According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, additional systems are planned for Highway 50 from Carson City to Fallon and I-80 from Reno to Lovelock.
One-way fares on PRIDE are $1.50 for seniors and the disabled, $2 for youth and $3 for adults. For information on the bus schedule or fares, call (775) 348-7433.