Airport shuttle links Truckee-Tahoe to Reno airport
With the introduction Wednesday of the North Lake Tahoe Express, travel between the lake’s North Shore, Truckee and the Reno Tahoe International Airport just became easier.
One of the three new airport shuttle buses made its debut trip from Tahoe City to the airport in Reno Wednesday morning.
“I’m so happy. I’m so excited,” said Jan Colyer, executive director of the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association and proponent of the new shuttle.
Travelers will be able to book reservations for one of three routes, either going to, or coming from, the Reno Tahoe Airport.
The red line will serve Tahoe City and Squaw Valley; the green line will serve Tahoe Vista, Kings Beach, Northstar and Truckee; and the blue line will serve Crystal Bay, Incline Village and the Summit Sierra shopping center in Reno.
The shuttle will stop only at locations where people have made a reservation for pick-up.
Prices vary for one-way and round-trip service, with discounts for groups, frequent users and a shopper’s special rate for trips to Summit Sierra.
A single passenger, one-way ticket to the airport costs $35.
“We’re now connecting the destination traveler. People can leave their cars at home, take the bus and get around town,” said Andy Chapman, director of tourism at North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “As we increase direct air service, this is a critical component.”
Both community leaders and residents are excited about the new service options.
“It’s exciting ” after many years,” said Guy Perman, longtime North Tahoe resident. “As a past representative of Ski Lake Tahoe, it’s thrilling to finally have this service in place.”
While the Resort at Squaw Creek provides its own shuttle service, resort officials said they are backing airport access to a broader audience.
“We support the effort of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and Truckee North Tahoe Transportation in providing economical alternatives which will help the community,” said Ernst Wolfinger, interim director of sales and marketing for the resort.
Lodging properties along the routes may also see a boost in business.
“Truckee, Tahoe and Reno need to be connected,” said Rick Rucker, manager at Hampton Inn and Suites in Truckee. “I think it’ll help business, but not be a big boost.”
Taxi services may be affected by the shuttle, because the shuttle could either create competition or promote business by bringing in more car-less visitors.
“There is plenty of room for everybody,” said Tal Fletcher, owner of Mountain Cab, Squaw Valley Taxi and Truckee Taxi, which accommodate many travelers with airport service.
Fletcher said he is a proponent of the new shuttle, though he has thought at length on how it might influence his business. He said that it won’t be a threat to his company because the target clientele is different.
“We’ve never tried to be the cheapest service to the airport ” just the best,” Fletcher said.
Additionally, he said he favors the idea that fewer cars on local roads means reduced environmental impact.
Eddie Banks, driver for North Tahoe Checker, agreed that the airport shuttle is another good option for transportation. Door-to-door taxis can be expensive, he said, costing more than $100 for a trip from Reno to Squaw Valley.
For more information, visit http://www.northlaketahoeexpress.com or call 581-3922 for more information or to make a reservation.