Local Lens – Workforce Transportation Roundtable
March 15, 2023 | Linda Offerdahl
There is nothing like a record year for snowfall to highlight the problems of living or working in a remote rural community like Incline Village! We are learning more about snow loads on roofs that lead to leaks and potholes that lead to tire damage (including my car). Even the Sheriff’s Substation had to evacuate and relocate to the old library building on Alder. On the positive side, we can all share a story about how our neighborhood came together, and the persistence of the snow plow crews have kept us as accessible as possible for emergencies. Thanks to the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District for providing sandbags and to Washoe County for providing the sand.
One of those community wide issues that gets worse in a winter like this, is workforce transportation. Assuming they can afford the gas, how many workers can afford a reliable AWD vehicle with snow tires to drive up from Reno or Carson? A big thanks for all the workers who have suffered long commutes and hazardous driving to work in Incline Village and Crystal Bay!
This is why IVCBA convened a roundtable on Workforce Transportation last Thursday. Every single transportation agency managed to attend, despite storm warnings that afternoon. Major employers and business leaders attended as well. We started the conversation, with Commissioner Hill as moderator, of just what can be done, particularly with the help of regional transportation agencies. The first step is to utilize what’s already available.
Look to IVCBA to get the word out on van pools and “smart trip” carpools provided by the RTC in Reno. Better yet, go online to RTCWashoe.com. TRPA has a Commute Tahoe Program that we need to learn more about. Our local TART Connect, with funding from Travel North Tahoe Nevada and other agencies, illustrates that shared rides can work, particularly for local service workers. TART buses are often criticized for apparent lack of use, but officials point out this is mostly during off-hours and that service, even in Incline, they are well utilized for morning and evening commutes in North Tahoe.
Longer term solutions will take commitment… by agencies to fund commuter transportation from the gateway cities, by workers making some sacrifice in personal convenience to share rides, by businesses helping to fund employee transportation and by residents to get behind the concept of a bus hub. Yes, I know, I am definitely looking at this issue with my rose-colored glasses.
- Rosewood Tahoe is the new restaurant in Raleys Center! It has a casual vibe with a hint of Italian influence, catering to a wide audience.
- Tunnel Creek Cafe is open for dinner Thursday through Sunday, giving their chefs Chad and Evan a chance to shine.
- Is there anyone who hasn’t been to Ts Rotisserie since they reopened? We are grateful for their commitment to supporting their staff while they were closed.
- Happy Tiers will be shedding real tears of happiness when they are finally fully open for business, hopefully before Easter. They are hoping to get your pastry/cookies/cakes order for that weekend!
If you are not on FB or Next Door, maybe you haven’t heard that Grocery Outlet is definitely moving into the old Village Market space in Village Center. They are shooting for a November 2023 opening.