Share Your Ideas for Future Sidewalks and Bike Lanes

Bike Lane

The Nevada County Transportation Commission (NCTC) wants your input on local sidewalks, bicycle paths, and trails.

The NCTC is working with the County of Nevada, City of Grass Valley, City of Nevada City, and Town of Truckee to create an Active Transportation Plan for Nevada County. The Plan will evaluate pedestrian and bicycle needs and prioritize recommendations.

NCTC is seeking input from Nevada County residents using an online mapping tool. Users can add their own suggestions or comments for sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails or vote and comment on the suggestions of others. Online comments will be accepted through October 7th.

Additionally, NCTC will host public workshops on October 17th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in the Truckee Town Hall Council Chambers and on October 18th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm in the council chambers at Grass Valley City Hall.

If you’ve ever wished for a sidewalk, bicycle lane, or trail in your community, this is your chance to share your ideas.

Do You Live In an Age-Friendly Community?

Survey GraphicAARP and the Agency on Aging Area 4 want your opinion. They are teaming up to ask folks what makes a community great for people of all ages. The Age-Friendly Community Survey is your chance to rate our community on a wide variety of topics, including housing, transportation, recreation, health & wellness, and employment.

Take a few minutes to complete the survey here. Your responses are anonymous and will be used only to promote age-friendly communities for people of all ages.

Free Fares on Truckee TART

The Town of Truckee is now offering free bus service for riders of the Truckee TART Local bus route. The Truckee TART Local operates throughout the Town of Truckee, providing access to shopping, recreation, employment, and more. Riders can also use the Truckee TART to connect to Placer County’s TART service to extend their trip throughout the Tahoe region.

Current hours of operations are Monday through Saturday between 9 am and 5 pm. Fixed Route services vary by season. For more information on routes and pick-up times, please visit the Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit website.

Truckee TART Dial-a-Ride also provides free year-round bus service for ADA-certified passengers. To make your reservation, call 530-550-7451.

For more information about your transportation options, give us a call at 2-1-1.

 

Get on the Move with Travel Training

On the Move

Access to transportation gives you better access to the world.

If you live near a bus stop, chances are you can make it to most of the places you need to go. Buses in Nevada County go to most local grocery stores. Many doctor’s offices and clinics are on bus routes. Libraries, banks, movie theatres, and parks are all accessible by bus.

Buses are a great transportation option, but many of us don’t even know where to start.

Riding the bus is easier than it might seem, especially when you know what to expect. Connecting Point’s new travel training program will help demystify the bus system and give you the tools you need to ride with confidence.

The program is free and open to anyone interested in learning to ride.

Here’s how it works:

Get Where You Want to Go

The travel training program is about getting you to YOUR destinations. Want to go to grocery shopping, meet a friend at a café, or get to an appointment? You’ll learn to find the best routes, time your trip, and recognize your stops to get you where you’re going on-time and hassle-free.

Find Tools That Work for You

Public transportation is for everyone. People of all ages and abilities ride the bus; sometimes we just need the right tools or knowledge to get where we need to go. We’ll work together to find the tools, technology, and techniques to make the bus system work for you.

Take a Bus Buddy

It’s always nice to have a partner when you’re learning something new. Our travel trainer will be with you every step of the way. You’ll plan together, ride together, and review your trip together. We’re in this together until you feel confident to ride alone.

Getting started is easy. Contact Travel Trainer Daniela Fernandez by email at danielaf@connectingpoint.org or by phone at 530-274-5601 to learn more about the program and schedule your first appointment. We’re excited to help you get on the move!

Hit the Town with Summer Youth Bus Pass

Summer Youth Bus Pass

Gold Country Stage is offering a Summer Youth Pass for kids ages 6-17 years old. For $25 kids can get unlimited rides from now until August 31st.

Bus routes cover Grass Valley, Nevada City, and Penn Valley, so whether you’re interested in a frozen treat out on the town, a movie at one of our local theatres, or a dip in the pool, Gold Country Stage can get you there!

Passes are available at the Transit Services office at 13081 John Bauer Avenue in Grass Valley or at Tinloy Station (near the Gold Miner’s Inn) on the first two weekdays of the month (the next dates are July 2nd & 3rd).

You can find more information on bus routes here. Or call 211 for help planning your trip.

She’s Got a Golden Ticket

County Announces Free Bus Pass for Riders Age 80+

Anita's Golden Ticket

This is Anita Wald-Tuttle. In addition to being a member of our Governing Board, she is also the very first recipient of Gold Country Stage’s Golden Ticket.

All Nevada County residents age 80 years and older are eligible for this FREE lifetime pass. Pass holders receive unlimited free rides on all Gold Country Stages routes. The Golden Ticket pass is available for all Nevada County seniors with proof of age (via a valid California ID card or driver’s license).

The Golden Ticket program begins June 1st. Passes will be available at the Tinloy Transit Center the first two business days of each month and at the Transit Services office at 13081 John Bauer Avenue in Grass Valley.

For more information, contact 211 Connecting Point by dialing 2-1-1 (or 1-877-847-0499).

Tinloy Transit Center Opens for Business

As of March 1st monthly bus passes are no longer sold on Gold Country Stage buses. So how on earth are you supposed to get your passes? You’ve got two options:

1)      You can purchase passes at the Transit Services office at 13081 John Bauer Avenue, Grass Valley. Monday-Friday 8am-5pm. This is a Route 3, Loma Rica stop if you’re riding the bus.

2)      Passes will now also be available at the Tinloy Transit Center in downtown Grass Valley on the first two weekdays of each month, 8am-5pm.

Also available at the above locations are Discount Fare ID Cards. Gold Country Stage is asking that all discount fare users get a new ID Card. These cards are available to youth 17 years and younger, seniors 65 and older, and persons with disabilities. Be sure to bring proper eligibility supporting documents. If you’re unsure which documents to bring, check out the list on the application.

Get on the Move!

 

We all know that transportation is essential for independence. In a rural community like ours, getting around can be a challenge, especially for those of us who don’t drive. Lack of transportation limits our opportunities for education, employment, healthcare, and social contact. But there are options out there, and we want to help you connect with them.

Connecting Point recently received funding from Caltrans to help folks in Eastern and Western Nevada County better understand their transportation options and learn how to use them to get On the Move. Our new transportation navigator, Daniela Fernandez, has been riding the routes, talking to community members, and learning all there is to know about our local transit options. Her goal is to share all of this knowledge to demystify our bus systems and help people gain experience and confidence using public transportation.

If you are interested in travel training or public transit education, please get in touch with Daniela by phone at 530-274-5601 or by email at danielaf@connectingpoint.org.

12 Days of Christmas on Gold Country Stage

Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas with FREE RIDES on all Gold Country Stage routes from December 20th through 31st.

Skip the parking hassles and do all of your local holiday shopping by bus. Catch a ride to the great shops in downtown Grass Valley (Route 3) and downtown Nevada City (Route 1), pick up your wrapping paper and tape in the Brunswick basin (Route 4), or make your way down the hill to the Roseville Galleria (via Route 5).

Gold Country Stage will be operating normal schedules and times on all routes with free fares for all. (There will be no bus service on Monday, December 25 in observance of Christmas Day).

Bus schedules are available in the Gold Country Stage Rider’s Guide. Call 211 to find the best routes, stops, and times for your trip.

New Parent Resources: Car Seats

By now we all know that car seats save lives. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, car seat use reduces the risk of death in infants by 71% and in toddlers by 54%. Car seats are so important for child safety that they are now one of the very first tools new parents need to bring their babies home; hospitals cannot allow a newborn to leave in a car without a car seat.

Car seats are expensive and complicated. With some help, every family can get a car seat (and get it installed correctly) to make sure every trip in a car is a safe one.

Getting a Car Seat

A very good place to start is at one of the PARTNERS Family Resource Centers in our area. The FRC will see if you are qualified for a free car seat and help you get the best one for your child’s needs. Start with the Grass Valley Family Resource Center. They will get you headed in the right direction.

Grass Valley PARTNERS Family Resource Center
235 South Auburn Street
Grass Valley
530-273-4059

Installation Assistance

Car seats are great, but these simple superheroes need an assist from us to be truly effective. That means making sure your car seat is properly installed. (Three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly, diminishing their ability to prevent injury or death in a car accident).

There are a number of options to help you properly install your car seat for the best protection of your baby. All require you call for an appointment.

Nevada County Child Car Seat Inspector
Nevada County Highway Patrol
11363 McCourtney Road
Grass Valley, CA
530-477-4900

First 5 Nevada County
250 Sierra College Drive
Grass Valley, CA
530-274-5361

AAA Car Seat Installation Inspector (This is for all, not just AAA members!)
Kristen Engelstad
113 Dorsey Drive
Grass Valley, CA
530-271-2620

As your child grows, continue to keep her safe in the appropriate car seat. Check with the Nevada County Car Seat Inspector at 530-477-4900 for the latest information.

For more information on resources for families, see our Children & Youth resource page.

 

 

Navigate Your Transportation Options with 211

“How do you plan to get there?” We’ve recently started asking this question of many of our 211 callers. We serve a lot of folks who don’t have a car, no longer drive, or have never driven. Whatever the reason, we all still need a way to get where we’re going.

Cars are convenient, but they’re not the only option. Nevada County has public buses, paratransit services, taxi services, and even an Uber driver or two. How do you know which one will work best for you? Ask 211.

We’ll ask you some simple questions to help you narrow down your options and find the transportation choice that works best for you. Here’s how we’ll start:

Where are you now? Where are you going?
If we know your start and end points, we can help you narrow down the options. We’ll start by eliminating options that don’t go to those places.

Are you on a bus route?
We can help you find the nearest bus stop and check to see if your path there is safe and accessible.

When do you need to be there?
Your options will be different depending on the day and time you’re traveling. If you’re headed to an appointment during business hours you may be able to use the bus or paratransit system. If you are heading out at night, you may need to call a taxi.

If you are taking the bus, it’s smart to work backwards from your arrival time to make sure you board the bus with enough time to reach your destination. We’ll help you read the timetables to find the best route, bus stop, and boarding time.

Are you traveling to a medical appointment?
There’s a chance your health insurance will pay for transportation to your doctor’s office. We can help you check what your plan offers.

Are you a veteran, senior, or person with a disability?
There may be additional options based on your individual situation or needs. We’ll go through these with you to see if you qualify.

Do you use a wheelchair?
Let’s make sure your transportation options are accessible. All of the public buses have ramps and tie downs for wheelchairs, but only certain taxis have accessible vehicles.

What’s your goal?
Maybe you don’t want or need to leave the house. If what you really need is food delivery, a good book, or a visit from a friend, there may be services available to meet your needs.

Wherever you’re going, make 211 your first stop. For more information, give us a call by dialing 2-1-1- or check out the transportation resource page on our website.

Back to School by Bus

School is back in session this month. If you’re scrambling to figure out how you or a family-member are going to get to school, look no further. Below is your Back to School by Bus guide, with routes, arrival times, and instructions on how to take public transportation to our local high school and college campuses. Take the bus to school and spend less time driving and more time with your books.

This is just a start. For help finding your best route and planning your trip to school, give us a call at 211.

Sierra College

Nevada County Campus

Gold Country Stage Route 4 goes directly to Sierra College’s Nevada County Campus, arriving at 6:39 am, 7:39 am, 8:39 am, 9:39 am, 10:39 am, 11:39 am, 12:39 pm, 1:39 pm, 2:39 pm, 3:39 pm, 4:39 pm, and 5:39 pm.

You can catch Route 4 at the Tinloy Transfer Station in Grass Valley at half past the hour, from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. The ride from Tinloy to Sierra College takes nine minutes.

Gold Country Stage Route 2 stops at Sierra College Drive, right near BriarPatch at 7:40 am, 9:40 am, 11:40 am, 2:40 pm, 4:40 pm, and 6:40 pm. Riders taking Route 2 will have to walk up the hill to the campus.

Route 2 departs the Tinloy Transfer Station at 7:30 am, 9:30 am, 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, and 6:30 pm. The ride from Tinloy to Sierra College takes ten minutes.

Rocklin Campus

The ride from Grass Valley to Rocklin requires two steps:

1) Take Gold Country Stage Route 5 from the Tinloy Transfer Station in Grass Valley to the Auburn Amtrak station at Nevada Street. Catch the bus at Tinloy at 6:00 am, 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 5:00 pm. The ride from Grass Valley to Auburn takes 50 minutes and arrives at 6:50 am, 8:50 am, 9:50 am, 1:50 pm, 3:50 pm, and 5:50 pm.

2) From the Auburn Amtrak Station, take the Placer County Transit #10 Light Rail Bus DIRECTLY to Sierra College. This bus runs every hour, on the hour, from 5 am to 7 pm. The ride takes 17 minutes, arriving at 17 minutes after the hour, every hour, from 5 am to 7 pm.

Returning from Rocklin:

The Placer County Transit #10 picks up at Sierra College and goes back to Auburn Station every hour, 40 minutes after the hour, from 6:40 am to 8:40 pm. It is important to note, however, that Gold Country Stage Route 5 returns to Grass Valley from the Auburn Amtrak Station only six times throughout the day, at 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm, and 6:00 pm.

Nevada Union High School

Gold Country Stage Route 2 stops at Nevada Union High School at 7:42 am, 9:42 am, 11:42 am, 2:42 pm, 4:42 pm, and 6:42 pm.

See above for Route 2 departure times from the Tinloy Transfer Station.

Bear River High School

There is no Gold Country Stage bus that goes all the way to Bear River High School. However, Gold Country Stage Route 5 stops at the Holiday Market at the Lake Center in Lake of the Pines. From the Holiday Market, it is a .6 mile walk to the Bear River campus along a safe walking path. The walk takes approximately 12-15 minutes. The Route 5 bus arrives at the Lake Center/Holiday Market at 6:28 am, 8:28 am, 9:28 am, 1:28 pm, 3:28 pm, and 5:28 pm.

See above for Route 5 departure times from the Tinloy Transfer Station in Grass Valley.

Senior Stays Connected with Gold Country Stage

Margaret Burlew (with her bus pass around her neck) stands ready to board the Gold Country Stage.

When Margaret Burlew’s husband passed away in 2007, she found herself isolated, lonely, and no longer able to afford the gas to get around town in her car.

That’s when she headed back to the bus.

It wasn’t Margaret’s first time using public transportation to get around. She actually started riding the bus when she was eight years old. Each weekday, Margaret took the Grass Valley-Nevada City Bus Line—a private bus that ran between Grass Valley and Nevada City from 1922 to 1963—to school from her home at Mill Street and McCourtney Road. “The school bus wouldn’t stop there. They stopped on the top of the hill,” Margaret told me recently. The Grass Valley-Nevada City Bus Line, on the other hand, stopped right in front of her house. Back then, “it cost a quarter to ride to Nevada City,” Margaret recalls.

As an adult, Margaret moved to Southern California and learned to drive on the Ventura Freeway. Her bus-riding days were behind her. But when she found herself on her own in Nevada County, the bus made better financial sense. “It’s very affordable for seniors,” she said. Margaret’s monthly pass costs her $22.50 and takes her everywhere she wants to go, including to her health care at Western Sierra Medical Clinic. “They take you right up to the door,” she says. “Right up to the front door. What better service than that would you want?”

Margaret takes the Gold Country Stage every day, going to the post office, doing her shopping, and riding around and socializing with people. It’s her way of staying active as she ages. “I used to work in a convalescent hospital as a CNA, and they said ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it.’ You’ve got to keep going. After my husband died, all I did was stay home and cry. Every day I’d stay home and cry because I was lonely. Well, I’m still lonely, but I take the bus every day and that helps my loneliness.”

A huge advocate for our public transportation system, Margaret can tell you all of the interesting places you can get to by bus (ask her about her trip to Reno sometime). When I asked Margaret what her favorite destination is she said “I just like to ride. Period.”

Margaret’s knowledge of the Gold Country Stage bus system is extensive, but she wasn’t always an expert. “I needed a little help at first,” she said. “But now I can help others.” She added: “We’ve got lovely bus drivers. They’re very accommodating and very helpful to people.”

Talking to Margaret, you get the sense that she has always been fiercely independent. For her, the bus is a means of connecting to the community and to others. And it’s one she’s not going to give up anytime soon. “About two years ago, I had emergency surgery. I had a hernia. Oh, I was in such pain. They operated on me on Monday, I came home Tuesday, I went on the bus Wednesday, and I’ve been out ever since!”

 

Thank you to Margaret Munson of the Nevada County Historical Society for assistance with research on this article.