Sierra Sun editorial: Cheers to New Year’s collaboration in Truckee |

Sierra Sun editorial: Cheers to New Year’s collaboration in Truckee

EDITOR’S NOTE: Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the Sierra Sun editorial staff.

Government agencies take a lot of heat these days, often rightfully so as the media and public continue to question how and why they spend taxpayer dollars on various projects, employee salaries and other endeavors.

But it’s not always a picture of doom and gloom, and we can look at our own backyard for proof.

As we kick off another new year in 2015, we want to take the time to thank the town of Truckee — as well as a slew of downtown businesses — for working together this week to pull off the first-of-its-kind free New Year’s Eve bus service for the community.

Prior to the town’s announcement late Monday that a five-fleet shuttle would depart from downtown at three different early morning times in order to get New Year’s revelers home safely, Assistant Town Manager Alex Terrazas said the idea was floated the past few years, but various roadblocks stopped the trigger from being pulled.

But with the help of about $800 in funding from the Truckee Downtown Merchant’s Association and six downtown bars/restaurants — Mellow Fellow, Pastime Club, Tourist Club, Bar of America, El Toro Bravo and Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats — the town shelled out the remaining $1,200 to get the shuttle rolling.

The end result was positive, said Truckee Police Chief Adam McGill, who reported to us Thursday morning that, while the night was busy downtown, deputies made only three arrests — one for DUI of someone “spinning donuts” on Donner Pass Road; one for public intoxication, as a man was urinating on himself and unable to care for himself; and a third for public intoxication/probation violation of a male who wasn’t supposed to consume alcohol.

Further, the free shuttles were “a big hit,” and all three routes at 12:15, 1:15 and 2:15 a.m. were heavily used, he said, adding that most users appeared impaired to officers, so many DUIs, or potentially worse incidents, likely were prevented.

Keeping our roads safer while getting people home during frigid temperatures — all the way to Squaw and Northstar, as far east as Glenshire and as far west as Boreal, with several neighborhoods in between — is a win-win, in our opinion, and well worth the small amount of taxpayer dollars that went to the endeavor.

It’s our hope the shuttle comes back for 2016 and beyond. We all know people are going to party and consume alcohol on New Year’s, and with the amount of money they spend at our businesses, it’s refreshing to see a public-private partnership like this succeed.

And speaking of businesses, when we spoke in November with Cassie Hebel, TDMA’s first-ever executive director, she said she was looking forward to advocating for merchants and improving Truckee’s downtown.

From the looks of it, this shuttle partnership with the town is a pretty good start.

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