Free rideshare service coming to North Lake Tahoe

Published April 1, 2021

This summer, North Lake Tahoe residents and visitors will have a new microtransit rideshare service available through Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit. The Placer County Board of Supervisors authorized spending $465,000 to implement this new service as a pilot program through summer 2021.

The service will offer free, on-demand shuttle service using small transit vehicles. Passengers can request the service through a mobile application, similar to how popular services such as Uber or Lyft operate. A local phone number will also be available for scheduling rides.

“This is part of our larger effort to meet the growing transportation needs around North Lake Tahoe,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “It is vital that we reduce traffic impact throughout the basin through innovative programs such as microtransit. I hope to see this valuable service implemented around the region in the years to come as we implement various transportation programs to meet the needs of our residents and visitors.”

TART will operate eight small transit vehicles that can complete an estimated 350 trips per day. The service will be available in Tahoe City and Kings Beach and is the first of its kind in North Tahoe. In addition to taking passengers from their origin to destination, the microtransit will also connect with the regional TART bus routes. 

“We look forward to launching this pilot and doing our part to help reduce congestion and parking frustrations currently experienced in the basin,” said Deputy Director of Public Works Will Garner. “During this trial period we intend to adapt to the needs of passengers that use the service and leverage regional partnerships to hopefully grow the program throughout Tahoe in the future.”

This pilot service will be contracted through Squaw Downtowner, LLC who will provide the vehicles, drivers and software to operate the service. Funding for the pilot is included in a previous allocation of $1.1 million in transient occupancy tax funds approved to implement projects and services recommended by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

The microtransit program is one of the many efforts being taken by Placer County to reduce traffic impacts in North Lake Tahoe. Taking a triage approach to increasing mobility in the region, the county is working to address all areas of transportation including road mobility, alternative transportation, pedestrian support and public transit incentives. This program is another tool in the toolbox to those broader efforts. 

The service will launch July 1 and operate through Sept. 6, which aligns with peak tourism season in the Tahoe basin.