Truckee to test more evening shuttle bus hours
A new shuttle service pilot project will allow more visitors to get around Truckee without renting cars.
Working with the Truckee-North Tahoe Transportation Management Association and partnering with a number of hotels and Northstar-at-Tahoe, the Town of Truckee will launch an evening shuttle service on Dec. 14.
The hotels involved in the shuttle service are the Best Western, Cedar House Sports Hotel, Hampton Inn, Donner Lake Village and the Holiday Inn Express.
The pilot project came about when Jan Colyer, executive director of the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association, approached Truckee hotel owners about participation in the recently launched airport shuttle service, said Melody Rebbeck, director of sales at the Holiday Inn Express.
“It was great for customers to be able to get to the hotels from the airport, but they would have no way to get around at night,” Rebbeck said.
Rebbeck, who worked to bring Truckee hotels together on the project, said they had been losing out on big-group business over that last two years because of the lack of evening transportation.
The main goal is to connect local lodging to downtown at night. Alex Terrazas, assistant to the town manager, said the new service was being considered as a pilot project to determine what kind of ridership it could get.
He said drivers would track ridership and boarding locations during the season to provide more information for future evening routes.
Aztec Transportation, the contractor that manages Truckee’s transit system, will operate the new program using one of the town’s Dial-a-Ride buses, Terrazas said.
Not all the stops have been determined, he said.
“The route has not been fully established,” Terrazas said. “I will be speaking to [Aztec Transportation] on Monday.”
Truckee Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said if the project is successful, the evening service could be expanded to include Tahoe-area service.
The involved hotels are also interested in expanding the route, Rebbeck said.
“Jan [Colyer] is working on a connection to Tahoe City’s night service via Northstar,” Rebbeck said. “Hopefully the service would eventually become year-round.”
Expanding the public transportation service to include an evening route is part of a larger desire for the town to use more public and alternative transportation, Terrazas said, with town council directing staff to get more people out of their cars and reduce traffic.
The evening shuttle bus is also one of two fleet vehicles scheduled to be replaced with diesel vehicles with the intent to consider biodiesel in the town fleet.
“We received direction from town council to purchase diesel vehicles so we could explore going to biodiesel in the future,” Terrazas said.