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Night riders boost local shuttle service

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Fresh snow has injected new bus riders into an expanding Truckee-Tahoe transit system.

Working with the Truckee-North Tahoe Transportation Management Association and partnering with a number of hotels and Northstar-at-Tahoe, the Town of Truckee launched an evening shuttle service on Dec. 14. The shuttle allows tourists staying at local hotels to visit downtown Truckee in the evening for dinner and shopping, without needing to rent a car.

The Truckee hotels involved in the shuttle service are the Best Western, Cedar House Sports Hotel, Hampton Inn, Donner Lake Village and the Holiday Inn Express.

“It’s doing better than when it started,” said Jan Colyer, executive director of Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association.

She said early in the season the local lodging just didn’t have the customers to fill the shuttle, in part because of how little snow there was.

A service like this takes time to get going as information spreads, Colyer said.

Melody Rebbeck, director of sales at the Best Western Truckee Tahoe Inn, said the biggest part in increased ridership has been getting the word out.

“We’ve found now that especially regulars are riding it,” Rebbeck said. “And during storms there is a lot more ridership.”

Rebbeck said she has found many tourists have been using the service one-way.

“A lot of people take it downtown for dinner, and take a taxi back,” Rebbeck said.

Lynn Saunders, president and CEO of the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce, said the service is valuable for visitors who arrive on a late bus or train, and don’t want to take a taxi.

Truckee will run the program through mid-April, and will then evaluate using the evening shuttle service next winter, said Alex Terrazas, assistant to the town manager.

A similar night service between Northstar-at-Tahoe and Tahoe City also allows visitors to make evening trips between Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.

“The lake night service is way ahead of (Truckee’s service). I’m not sure why,” Colyer said.

The route’s higher numbers may be because residents and the region’s employees ride the shuttle, as well as tourists, she said.


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