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Placer County expands on-demand transit service TART Connect through the winter season
Published July 29, 2021
The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved $530,000 in transient occupancy tax funds to expand the TART Connect on-demand transit pilot program for the winter season.
The funding will allow continued TART Connect service from December through April 2022, and will expand service into the Cedar Flat and Carnelian Bay area neighborhoods, now covering all Placer communities along Lake Tahoe.
TART Connect hosted over 2,900 passenger trips in the first 12 days of its operation, launched earlier this month. The average wait time for a ride was around seven minutes and for the period of July 1-5, 32% of the rides in the Tahoe City area were shared, which means many additional vehicles were kept off the road.
The microtransit program is one of the many TOT-funded efforts 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 and public transit incentives.
Recent investments of lodging tax revenues to fund increased trash cleanup initiatives, traffic reduction programs and more were also discussed with the board to inform of their continued investment of transient occupancy tax dollars for sustainability projects in North Lake Tahoe.
“When we love something, we invest in it. Here in North Lake Tahoe our residents, visitors, stakeholders and business owners invest directly in the community through our transient-occupancy-tax-funded programs,” said District 5 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson. “Balancing the costs and benefits of tourism is essential to the preservation of our communities and our quality of life. TOT is an important part of that balance and allows visitors to help fund the services being used during their stay.”
Since March, the board has approved approximately $1.4 million of transient occupancy tax revenues for more transportation and tourism sustainability projects after action was taken to form the North Lake Tahoe Tourism Business Improvement District. That action, approved by the local business community, freed up millions in transient occupancy tax for key priority programs in North Lake Tahoe, as defined by the region’s Tourism Master Plan.
Since the creation of the new Tourism Business Improvement District, Placer County has used the freed up TOT funds to launch TART Connect on-demand transit service, contract with Clean Tahoe for a regional trash cleanup initiative, install a temporary traffic light to help with road congestion at Grove Street and state Route 28 and more.
To learn more about the county’s continued investment in North Lake Tahoe through TOT and TBID revenues visit tot-tbidatwork.com.