Evening shuttle picks up with more snow
After the night bus ran emptier than hoped last winter, more snow and more exposure have made Truckee’s evening shuttle service a bigger success this season.
Truckee introduced the free evening route last winter to transport visitors from their hotels into town for shopping and dining, but the lackluster weather resulted in lower use than expected.
The Truckee Town Council decided to give the service another shot, paying a little over $37,000 from state funding to run the bus this year.
“More people are aware of it this winter, and we have a lot more snow,” said Leslie Montoya, program manager for Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association.
About 14,000 people have ridden the Truckee and Tahoe evening shuttles so far this winter, compared to a total of around 16,000 last year, she said.
More snow doesn’t just mean more tourists, Montoya said. Numbers indicate that seasonal employees may be making up a large part of the ridership.
“Looking at the numbers, there are probably a lot more people working at the resorts,” she said.
For Truckee alone, in December and January the evening shuttle has had 960 riders, compared to 589 last year, said Assistant to the Truckee Town Manager Alex Terrazas.
“It’s pretty darn good so far,” he said.
Aztec Transportation, which contracts with the town to provide shuttle services, was bought by El Camino Trailways of south San Francisco earlier this month, according to BTI Group Mergers and Acquisitions, who brokered the deal.
“In terms of the change in ownership, there should be no affect in the short term on our services, but in the long term, it’s too early to tell,” said Town Manager Tony Lashbrook. “We have a good relationship with Aztec, and we hope to retain that.”
Terrazas said moving the contract from Aztec to El Camino Trailways will go before the town council, and doesn’t expect the change to affect service.