In Carson: City sends $16,000 JAC request to Douglas
A Carson City commission is asking Douglas County directly for the $16,000 the city says it spends sending its bus system south on Highway 395, over the county line into Douglas, and to businesses at Topsy Lane.
Douglas County commissioners are scheduled to review the proposal Dec. 6. It’s an issue Carson and Douglas have debated for months.
“The money would be nice,” said Shelly Aldean, head of the Carson City Regional Transportation Commission, “but perhaps the symbolism is more important.”
She has said the city also loses sales taxes to Douglas because of the bus service, so it’s especially important that Douglas pays some of the costs.
The commission on Wednesday night approved cutting Washoe County’s Intercity bus service in places where it overlapped with Carson’s bus service, Jump Around Carson (JAC), because it would save the city about $50,000 a year.
This means Intercity would stop its nine trips a day from Carson City to Topsy Lane and the load would be picked up by Carson’s buses.
JAC wouldn’t have to increase its 450 monthly round trips to Topsy Lane, but the buses would carry more people, said Patrick Pittenger, the city transportation manager.
It also means Douglas County would save about $13,000 it would otherwise pay to Washoe County for Intercity service.
Douglas County Manager Dan Holler suggested that the county would possibly pay $5,000 a year to Carson, but not the $16,000. He said the $5,000 wasn’t a guarantee, though.
The county could have unexpected expenses, he said, like needing to expand its bus system, Douglas Area Rural Transit (DART).
Transportation Commissioner Charles Desjardins said he didn’t want the commission to look like it was trying to shove the proposal on Douglas but, according to Commissioner Russell Carpenter “we have to get this rolling.”
Both voted for the proposal.
“It sends an important message,” Aldean said of the proposal. “This needs to be resolved. This has gone on entirely too long.”
About 30 people ride to Topsy Lane from Carson City daily – most of whom are Carson City residents going there to work or shop.
Carson City started its bus system in October 2005 and pays $450,000 a year for it. The system has 9,000 riders a month.