Kings Beach added to ferry study
After anteing up $15,000, Kings Beach is now part of a study for ferry service across Lake Tahoe.
The money, which was required to be considered in the study, will come from the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association’s infrastructure funds, according to Steve Teshara, the association’s executive director. Teshara is also on the Tahoe Transportation District board, which is spearheading the site selection study to determine the best locations for ferry service hubs.
The $15,000 was re-designated from three other projects that were under budget, he said.
Teshara noted that the Tahoe Transportation District wants to expand the original intent of the study by updating 1996 ridership projections and asking consultants to look at various piers around the lake to see if a waterborne taxi service would work on shuttling passengers from different points around the lake.
Sites currently being considered for across-the-lake service include the Tahoe City Marina, Ski Run Marina in South Lake and Kings Beach. A site in Stateline, Nev., was originally part of the list but was recently dropped for unknown reasons, Teshara said.
“If we would have a chance to add it back in, we would like to do that,” he said.
Teshara said the study should be completed by next spring.
If Kings Beach is chosen as a hub for waterborne transit the current public pier there would have to be extended, which has been discussed in the past.
Steve Rogers, executive director of the North Tahoe Public Utility District, which maintains the pier, said the extension is a “long-range” plan, but added that it could potentially have a positive impact on the area.
“We could build a retail community around it,” Rogers said. “There has been general discussion about it. It’s been floating around for decades. It’s a 20-plus-year discussion.”
Last summer, Congress approved $8 million for a ferry service across Lake Tahoe. Caltrans has committed $65,000 for the site study.
The Solar Sailor, a solar-powered catamaran with solar panels that can lift up and catch wind, is being considered as the type of vessel to be used, but no studies have been completed on what type of vessel would cause the least amount of pollution or erosion control.
When the proposal was approved by Congress last summer, it was mentioned that the money would be used to purchase two 100- to 200- passenger vessels for point-to-point service between the North and South shores.
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