Placer County Transit Services was named 2013 Rural Transit Program of the Year recently by a statewide transit association.
Transit Services, a division of the Placer County Public Works Department, was honored during the Spring Conference & Expo of the California Association for Coordinated Transportation. The conference was held May 13-17 at the Ritz-Carlton in Placer County.
“This is a well-deserved honor,” said Placer County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim Holmes. “Public Works has done a great job developing a transit program that provides outstanding customer service, responds to changing passenger needs and works well with other transit agencies throughout the region. I have been particularly impressed by its success operating two separate transit systems tailored to meet the distinct needs of North Lake Tahoe and West Placer.”
“Our transit services are such a vital asset to the community we serve and it is because of the efforts of so many great employees and the support of our Board and many partner agencies that we are able to provide those services,” Public Works Director Ken Grehm said. “We appreciate the recognition of those efforts from our colleagues at the association.”
In West Placer, Public Works operates Placer County Transit (PCT), which offers fixed-route bus and dial-a-ride services that connect small communities with the suburban and urban centers of South Placer and Sacramento. PCT’s ridership has increased by 95 percent over the past decade, growing to more than 475,000 passengers per year.
In 2004, PCT started Placer Commuter Express, a weekday bus service that takes commuters from West Placer to downtown Sacramento and back. PCT also manages 10 vanpools for commuters.
At North Lake Tahoe, Public Works runs Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART), which serves lake-side communities on a 26-mile route between Tahoma and Incline Village, Nev. It also has routes on Highways 89 and 267 between Tahoe and Truckee that serve major resort areas along the way. TART carries about 360,000 passengers per year.
TART collaborates with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association, Town of Truckee and several resorts. It also has an employee pass program with several large North Tahoe employers.
Last October, Placer County opened its Tahoe City Transit Center, a state-of-the-art facility that serves as a hub for TART and other shuttle services.
Since its opening, the center has been selected for several honors, including a 2013 Public Works Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association and a 2013 Small Project Award from the American Institute of Architects. The center also was named Overall Winner of the 2012 Western Red Cedar Architectural Design Awards. The transit center uses two of the area’s predominant materials: Sierra ledge stone and western red cedar.
Public Works coordinates its transit programs with services offered by Placer County’s cities and other agencies, including the Sacramento Regional Transit District, Nevada County Transit, Western Placer Consolidated Transportation Services Agency, Town of Truckee, Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission and Tahoe Transportation District.