More transit money for Truckee? Study shows eastern Nevada County might be getting its share
A transit funding equity study from Nevada County Transportation Commission revealed that Truckee may not be getting all the transportation funding it deserves.
Two years ago, Truckee town staff approached the transportation commission with ambitious plans for transit services but did not have sufficient funding, according to Daniel Landon, executive director of the Nevada County Transportation Commission.
The transportation commission administers two funding sources, Local Transportation Funds and the State Transit Assistance Program. The Local Transportation Fund is a return of sales tax that is generated within the county. However, the amount of funding returned is based on population size, not how much sales tax is generated in an area.
Based on the findings in the report, Landon said Truckee was due for more consideration when it came to funding transit services.
Using the report, the commission adopted priorities for how they would fund future transit operations. The first priority would be to maintain current level of service followed by the expansion or implementation of new services. This will allow Truckee to request funding to establish new routes or services. When evaluating those requests Landon said they will look at the initial cost as well as the sustainability of it.
“Just so we don’t put something on the street only to have to take it away a few years later,” he said.
As another criteria the commission will follow is to prioritize the use of the Local Transportation Funds first before requesting more funds under the State Transit Assistance program.
“We’re very confident that this will allow us to better manage the funding that we have to put more service on the street and to see that it is done in an equitable fashion,” said Landon.
The report also directed the commission to take certain actions to create more equitable funding methods throughout Nevada County which they adopted in March.
One action was to create new spending policy to provide more direction on how to spend excess transportation funds. According to the report, at the end of the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year Truckee had $210,981 in Local Transportation Funds that had been carried over from previous years. This money is currently unallocated and is held by the transportation commission.
“Both Truckee and Nevada County Transit services have developed over time a fairly hefty reserve fund,” said Landon. “The purpose of the funds is not to have a multi-year reserve; it’s to put service on the street.”
Landon said he will be working with town staff to utilize the county’s new policies.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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