The fare increases were modest ones and, as with any increase in fares, were met with opposition by people who claimed the increase would adversely affect their livelihood. RTC was faced with only a couple of choices: cut routes and buses on those routes or raise fares. In an effort to continue to provide their same level of service to our area, RTC raised the fares.
Our public transportation system is very efficient. There is no bus stop further away from anyone’s home than a quarter of a mile. The system provides transportation to virtually every apartment complex. Every bus is handicap accessible and is capable of carrying as many as two wheelchair riders securely. Every bus is equipped with a rack on the front of the coach capable of carrying two bicycles.
The bicycle racks are especially popular in summer months as youths take their bikes downtown and then go off and fish the Truckee River throughout the day. It provides a way that young and old can enjoy our community in another way.
The Spanish Springs area, which suffers from seemingly constant bumperto-bumper traffic, does not have any Citifare routes as the area is primarily comprised of single-family homes and studies have shown that people in areas like that do not ride the bus. Even though they hate the traffic jams, they will not forsake their cars for the bus. RTC might run some experimental routes to try out the concept, but the area surprisingly does not qualify for permanent bus routes.
In inclement weather, RTC sands the routes of the major Citifare routes first before they do any other streets. This action helps to keep the bus system on time and deliver a large number of people to work and school on time.
RTC needs to implement at least one north-south route in Sparks to service the heavily used warehouse section of Sparks. Currently, if a person needs to go to the warehouse section to work and needs to be there by 8 a.m., it takes two hours to get there on time. I don’t know of anyone who would be willing to start to work two hours ahead of time to travel maybe 5 miles total. A route of this kind would stem some of the traffic we currently see southbound in this area at our rush hours, both morning (south) and afternoon (north).
Overall, our regional transportation system does an excellent job of providing safe, efficient and timely service to our area using state-of-the-art coaches that are well-maintained and dependable. We should all take the bus from time to time, if for no other reason than to show our support, and to do a little exploring of an area of our community many have never experienced.
Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.