North Tahoe bus shelters put up for adoption | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe bus shelters put up for adoption

Julie Brown
Sierra Sun

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunA Tahoe City bus shelter is lined with graffiti and trash on Wednesday. The Transportation Management Association is putting its bus shelters up for adoption in the hopes that local businesses will maintain and clean them.

Local bus shelters need some tender, loving care, so the Truckee-North Tahoe Transportation Management Association is putting them up for adoption.

Executive Director Jan Colyer recently kicked off the adopt-a-bus-shelter program to find volunteers willing to clean up and maintain a designated shelter, improving an aspect of the regional transportation system that has fallen by the wayside.

“[The bus shelters] were just so dirty, some of them are really gross,” Colyer said. “I was calling them little ghettos.”

In their spare time, bus drivers have traditionally cleaned the shelters. But increased ridership has kept drivers busy driving without much spare time.

“More people are using the buses,” Colyer said. “I just want the shelters to be nice and clean and look better.”

Any adopter would be responsible for keeping the shelter clean, neat and inviting. In return, their logo would be displayed to show their contribution to the community.

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“We just need to show pride in our transportation system,” Colyer said.

The Resort at Squaw creek decided to adopt the bus shelter on the corner of Squaw Creek Road and Squaw Valley Road.

“We thought this is the next best step in giving back to the community,” said Human Resources Manager Emily Herl. The resort is already participating in the adopt-a-highway program for Highway 89.

Many of the resort’s employees use the bus system, Herl said. The program is a way to help the transportation system be more efficient for their employees as well as the public.

Jacqui John of the Kings Beach Family Resource Center made a similar point. The resource center hopes to put up information and resources in their bus shelter in downtown Kings Beach.

An interested organization or business should choose a specific shelter and assess what needs to be done with maintenance and aesthetics. Any cosmetic changes would need to be passed by Colyer first.

“It couldn’t be, like, hot pink with polka dots on it,” she said. “More of the idea is that it would be environmentally friendly.”

Colyer said a contest for the best shelter may be in the works depending on the program’s success.

The effort to clean up the region’s bus shelters is part of the transportation agency’s larger effort to improve the transit system as a whole.

With increased rider numbers, Colyer said the association is trying to expand its service with each season.

Tahoe Area Regional Transportation recently received new buses that run on compressed natural gas ” an environmentally clean fuel alternative.

Colyer said she has had a lot of response to her adopt-a-bus shelter program from businesses and organizations, but only a couple have committed so far.

The adopter would have to sign an agreement, but the commitment could be for as long or as short a period as they choose.