Transit attempts to keep schedules in snow storms |

Transit attempts to keep schedules in snow storms

Jenny Goldsmith/Sierra SunYvonne Thomas waits for a TART bus at Truckee's Safeway stop. Transit officials said they are trying to maintain bus schedules despite snowy conditions.

Despite the series of Northern Pacific storms sending gusty winds and heavy snow to the Tahoe Basin this week, area-transportation agencies are trying to stay on schedule.

“We may not be running on the stated schedule, but we’re doing our best in these conditions,” said Will Garner, Placer County’s public works manager.

Garner said the public transit system will have spare buses chained and ready for operation, but staffing shortages may keep the extra buses off the roads.

“Our goal is to keep running as long as we can in this type of weather,” Garner said.

The blast of winter weather may taper off today, but the prospect of more strong winds and substantial snowfall have prompted forecasters to issue a winter storm watch for Thursday, according to the National Weather Service in Reno.

“The storm could produce a pretty significant snowfall on Thursday,” said Alex Hoon, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Reno.

Hoon said the Truckee area could see 6 to 12 inches of snow accumulate, with 12 to 18 inches above 7,000 feet throughout the day. Southwest winds as high as 35 mph will whip up the new snow.

“It will be a fairly strong storm,” he said. “The winds could cause some localized whiteout conditions, especially around the mountain passes.”

Garner said the Tahoe Area Regional Transit bus system will continue operations, but passengers can expect delays.

“The way the schedules are built allows for recovery time to make up for the delays,” Garner said. “But we experience the same delays as cars and trucks on snowy days.”

Though the storm will taper off on Friday, a frontal system is scheduled to dump more snow on Saturday afternoon into Sunday morning, Hoon said.

“This has been the pattern since Sunday,” Hoon said. “It’s just one storm after another.”

By Monday, the clouds should part and forecasters say the Tahoe-area may see some sunshine.

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