Free North Tahoe ski shuttle hitting the road next week
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The free North Lake Tahoe ski shuttle will return this winter with no major changes in service.
Starting next week, the two-bus fleet will transport skiers and riders to Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and Homewood Mountain Resort in the morning and return them in the afternoon.
Service will run from Dec. 20, 2014, to April 4, 2015, on weekends and holiday periods for a total of 46 service days. Holiday periods are: Dec. 20-Dec. 31, Jan. 1-Jan.4 and Feb. 14-Feb. 22.
Those looking to ski or ride outside of those dates or visit other resorts can use a voucher program, in which guests staying at North Shore/Placer County lodging properties can obtain a Tahoe Area Regional Transit voucher at the front desk for free use of existing TART routes and schedule.
“We would like to see locals and visitors utilize the service to and from the ski resorts,” said Jaime Wright, executive director of the Truckee/North Tahoe Transportation. “The ultimate goal would be to reduce traffic and congestion at the resorts, offering more time on the mountain.”
This winter, the program is expected to cost $98,181, with $58,681 going toward TART operations, $32,500 for marketing and marketing management, and $7,000 for consulting services and end of season review, she said.
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows ($68,923), North Lake Tahoe Resort Association ($26,902 through Placer County Transient Occupancy Tax funds) and Homewood ($2,356) will fund the 2014-15 program.
TOT is a charge added to the cost of a room — motel, hotel, condominium — paid by visitors to the area who stay fewer than 30 days.
“Snowfall and winter ski conditions have a direct relation to how well this service does; therefore a good ski season is needed to truly evaluate the success of the program,” Wright said.
Last winter, the free shuttle’s fixed-route service ceased roughly a month earlier than scheduled due to lack of snow.
As for other winter transit, the Night Rider will return Dec. 15 and run through April 5, 2015, providing free late-night bus service to those on the North and West shores.
TART service on Highway 267 will resume Dec. 13 through April 5, 2015, running on an hourly schedule from 7 a.m. to 5:50 p.m., with a fee charged to riders.
In Truckee, its fixed-route winter service starts Dec. 18 and ends March 15, 2015, offering daily runs between Henness Flats, downtown Truckee, Donner Lake, and Boreal, Sugar Bowl, Donner Ski Ranch and Soda Springs ski resorts between roughly 6:05 a.m and 6:05 p.m.
Visit laketahoetransit.com to view complete winter transit schedules.