My Turn: Transportation matters are a community effort
This is in response the Sierra Sun article (“Suffering through the season” March 1) regarding the lack of concern for the international work force transportation needs.
We want everyone to know what good things have been put in place for the employees and what we do each season to try to improve the transportation needs for the local employee and visitor base.
The North Lake Tahoe Resort Association (NLTRA) and many of the large resorts in the area contribute several thousands of dollars each year for winter transit operations and similar contributions for summer transit operations.
The Truckee-North Tahoe Transportation Management Association (TNT/TMA) started working with the NLTRA, Placer County, Squaw Valley Ski Corp, Alpine Meadows, The Village at Squaw Valley, Squaw Valley Business Association, The Resort At Squaw Creek, Homewood Ski Resort, Sugar Bowl, Plumpjack Squaw Valley Inn, Olympic Valley Inn, The Town of Truckee and Northstar in July of 2005 to gather funding resources and organize plans to help make the 2005-06 Winter transit program work better this year for the employees and visitors.
The businesses and Placer County committed $147,000 for increased service hours (earlier and later runs) and hourly service on Highway 89 as well as marketing money to get the word out to the community. As a result of the collaboration of these stakeholders the ridership numbers are higher than ever before.
The overall transit system has increased 52 percent and all new service runs are at full capacity.
All of the ski resorts have employee shuttles integrated into the winter transit system as well as their reliance on TART and the Town of Truckee services. The resorts offer some housing, free meals and lift tickets along with wages for the employees.
Most large employers ” and a rising number of small employers ” are purchasing bus passes for their employees. The recent conversion of all TART buses to electronic fareboxes has helped employers better manage the distribution of their employee free passes.
A mid-season meeting was held in February and plans are underway for improvements to the 2006-07 winter transit program. More international employees are part of the local work force than ever before and we expect there will be a larger influx for this summer so we are working towards improving public transportation opportunities for summer as well.
The Housing Connection in Tahoe City works closely with the international work force housing arrangements. The availability of housing from season to season and year to year does fluctuate which can affect the placement of employees near transit routes.
We just want you to know that the large resorts and small companies in our area do care about the wonderful international work force that comes to the USA to help promote Tahoe hospitality to the visitors and residents of our area. We are committed to continue to work hard for more transportation and housing opportunities for the valuable resource of international employees as well as those who are within our region.
The businesses and public agencies working together for improved transit services are supportive members of the TNT/TMA and also pay annual dues to sustain an on-going advocacy for public and private transportation solutions.
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