Tahoe Transportation District (TTD) today announced it must suspend its seasonal route from Incline Village to Sand Harbor Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park due to a staffing shortage on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve never experienced a driver shortage of this magnitude before. We are hoping we can fill the positions with qualified candidates quickly so we can relieve some of the congestion – and all of the issues that come along with it – on this stretch of road as we lean into yet another busy summer season,” said TTD District Manager Carl Hasty.
The seasonal route would have been in its ninth year serving beachgoers, state park visitors and those lured by the first completed stretch of the East Shore Trail – a paved path that skirts Tahoe’s northeast shore. It is among many routes TTD operates, although the only route connecting Incline Village to the East Shore. It has become increasingly popular year after year until it was suspended last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
TTD was able to retain, and on some routes, even build ridership throughout the pandemic, bucking national trends that pointed to a decrease in public transit ridership during the same period.
“It shows that there’s a real need for these services in our communities,” said Hasty. “Not only are we directly decreasing carbon emissions and contributing to a greener future, but the service workers and visitors at Tahoe rely on us to get where they need to go.” All of its services became free to all riders during this time. TTD board and staff are working to continue to provide free services.
While a national employee shortage continues to make headlines, Hasty also points to the increase in the cost of living at Lake Tahoe as a potential hurdle in the demand to find drivers and continue its operations. “We are considering our options for possible partnerships and new ways to help fund transit so it can compete for workers,” he said. Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply at www.tahoetransportation.org/careers.
TTD has provided transit services to South Lake Tahoe, Incline Village and the Carson Valley for ten years. Its mission is to facilitate and implement safe, environmentally positive, multi-modal transportation plans, programs and projects for the Lake Tahoe Basin, including transit operations. TTD works in partnership with the Nevada Department of Transportation and regional transportation authorities. For more information, visit TahoeTransportation.org and follow the District @TahoeTransDistrict.
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