New, limited fixed route transit service will begin Wednesday, December 13th to address concerns raised by area residents and businesses following the cessation of the Gray Line service last year. This new service is the culmination of a process that included a request for written comments, which were nearly evenly divided and mirrored the comments voiced at a separate meeting that was held on November 8th. The comments generally fell according to the following two positions; 1) please reinstitute transit service even if this means that buses must use Red Fir to turn around or, 2) do not have buses use Red Fir under any circumstances, even if this means no transit service beyond Snowcreek.
A service option was developed that attempted to respect both of these positions. Similar to what was operated last year the proposal would use the smaller dial-a-ride bus that can make a U-turn on Old Mammoth Road at lower Red Fir to provide three trips into Town in the morning, and three return trips in the afternoon. Although this causes a negative impact on the dial-a-ride service, it would be a means to provide some service to the upper Old Mammoth Road area without having buses travel on Red Fir. The proposed service was shared with the individuals who have commented on transit service to this area. The majority of responses were favorable, indicating that the proposed service would meet at least some of their transit needs. To minimize the negative impact on the dial-a-ride service, one run in the afternoon will only operate on days that school is in session, and all of the afternoon runs will only continue beyond Sierra Center Mall if there are passengers on board. The service will be implemented on Wednesday, December 13th in conjunction with the winter season start of the Green, Blue, and Yellow Lines. The service will be re-assessed following a 90-day pilot program period. This service is expected to be a short-term solution prior to development of a suitable turn-around next summer that will allow the Red Line and Town Trolley buses to provide service to the Old Mammoth area. The service schedule for this new service can be viewed here.