Free North Tahoe ski shuttle, other winter transit revving up soon
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The free North Lake Tahoe ski shuttle will hit the roads again this winter amid high hopes that this season will be a snowy one.
Starting next month, the two-bus fleet will transport skiers and riders to Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows and likely Homewood Mountain Resort with two runs in the morning and two in the afternoon.
“We hope to see an average-to-heavy winter, allowing for the use of the ski shuttle to benefit and enhance the skiing experience for both locals and visitors alike,” said Jaime Wright, executive director of the Truckee/North Tahoe Transportation Management Association.
A finalized schedule is being developed, with Homewood’s participation still awaiting confirmation, she said. Once ready, the schedule will be posted on laketahoetransit.com.
The service will run from Dec. 18, 2015, to March 27, 2016, only on weekends and holiday weeks for a total of 46 service days. Holiday weeks will be Dec. 20-Dec. 26, Dec. 27-Jan. 2, and Feb. 14-Feb.20.
Like last year, those looking to ski or ride outside 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 schedules.
This winter, the program is expected to cost $98,181, with $60,681 going toward TART operations, $25,000 for marketing materials and ad design, $8,500 for marketing management, and $4,000 for consulting services.
Squaw-Alpine ($68,923), North Lake Tahoe Resort Association ($26,902 through Placer County Transient Occupancy Tax funds) and Homewood ($2,356) are anticipated to fund the 2015-16 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.
As for other winter transit, the Night Rider will return Dec. 14 and run through April 3, 2016, providing free hourly night bus service from 7 p.m. to as late as 2 p.m. daily along the North and West shores on the California side, said Will Garner, transit manager for Placer County.
TART service on Highway 267 will resume Dec. 14, he said, with two buses running hourly from Crystal Bay to downtown Truckee from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily for a fee to riders.
Unlike past years, the Highway 267 route will not be suspended in the spring, but rather continue as a year-round service at least through summer 2018.
Detailed schedules for both services — each of which will be operated by TART this season — will be available on the last week of November at placer.ca.gov/tart.
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