Service Alert- Effective April 1, 2020
Due to issues surrounding COVID-19, including a 60 percent decrease in ridership, Gold Country Stage and Gold Country Lift will begin operating on a reduced service schedule. On Wednesday April 1, 2020, we will begin operating a reduced limited service schedule (Monday through Friday from 7:15 AM – 5:30 PM), with service to Auburn on Route 5 at 6:00 AM, 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. The schedules are based on the regular Saturday bus schedules. For more information please refer to the route schedules herein for specific Saturday Route times.
Bus schedules are available in the Gold Country Stage Rider’s Guide, at www.goldcountrystage.com or call the office 530-477-0103 x 1003 for travel planning information.
California’s 65-&-older population will grow to 8.6 million people in 2030. How can we plan ahead to ensure that older adults in our communities have everything they need to live safely and independently? The California Department of Aging has launched a new campaign, EngageCA, to involve more Californians in the development of the state’s Master Plan for Aging. A diverse group of stakeholders are working together to develop this new blueprint for an age-friendly California. And your experience and ideas are needed.
Share your vision for a robust and reliable system of services that can support an equitable, age- and disability-friendly California! Go to www.engageCA.org to learn more.
Every decade since 1790, the United States has attempted to count the country’s population. This nation-wide head-count plays an extraordinarily important role in shaping our communities for years to come.
Why the Census Matters
The next Census will take place in April 2020. There is a lot on the line, including funding for essential safety net programs and representation in Congress. Census data is used to:
- Draw Congressional districts (not to mention school districts!)
- Distribute billions of federal dollars to states
- Inform the decisions of government, businesses, and non-profits
An undercount could cost California more than $1.5 billion across all Federal programs. These are dollars that fund housing, education, healthcare, roads, and emergency services in Nevada County.
It is vital to the future of our community to ensure that every person in Nevada County is counted. Connecting Point and the County of Nevada are collaborating to “get out the count,” with the goal of achieving a complete count for Census 2020. That means counting every person living in Nevada County. There are significant barriers to meeting this goal:
- The 2020 Census will be the first to rely heavily on online responses. Internet access is limited in many areas of our county.
- S. Census Bureau outreach will not go to P.O. Boxes. Many residents may not receive information about the Census.
- There is widespread mistrust of the government and potential for misinformation about the Census in our community. People may choose not to participate, even though Census data is protected.
The State of California estimates that there are 48,370 “hard-to-count” individuals living in Nevada County (learn more about the Hard-to-Count Index here).
Connecting Point is currently reaching out to community organizations, faith-based groups, local agencies, businesses and others who work closely with demographic populations considered least likely to respond. These include:
- Immigrants and Refugees
- People with disabilities
- Children ages 0-5
- People with low/no broadband access
- Households with limited English proficiency
Achieving a complete count requires us to work together to find the best ways to reach our hard-to-count neighbors. If you serve any of the above “hard-to-count” populations, we want to hear from you. Please contact Heather Heckler by email or by phone at 530-274-5601 to let us know if you’d like to be involved.
The Census begins April 1st. LET’S MAKE NEVADA COUNTY COUNT!
School is wrapping up for the year and summer activities are kicking into high gear. But how are your kids getting to all these great events? How about the bus!
Give your kids the gift of independence with a Gold Country Stage Summer Youth Pass.
For just $25, kids ages 6-17 can get unlimited rides all summer long, from June 1 through August 31. The pass is good for all Gold Country Stage routes, including Route 5 to Auburn, Route 6 to Penn Valley–Lake Wildwood, and the new Lucky Route 7, serving the South Yuba River and North San Juan (beginning July 8th).
Purchase your Summer Youth Pass at the Gold Country Stage office at 13081 John Bauer Avenue in Grass Valley, Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. Proof of age is required.
Check out the Rider’s Guide at the Gold Country Stage website for bus routes and schedules. Call 211 for help planning your trip.
Local kids may be out of school, but they’re not out on their own this summer. Community groups are coming together to ensure children have access to food and fun activities while they’re on break.
The Department of Education, in partnership with Nevada County Public Health and the Nevada County Library are providing free lunches at four sites in Nevada County. The Food Bank of Nevada County is providing free lunches at apartment complexes throughout Grass Valley. Here are the details:
Department of Education Lunches
The California Department of Education is funding a free summer lunch program for children throughout the state, including three sites in Western Nevada County and one in Eastern Nevada County.
Free summer lunches are for kids ages 0-18 and 19-21 year olds with a mental or physical disability and an IEP. Lunch must be eaten on site.
Want to take the bus to lunch? Check out Gold Country Stage’s Summer Youth Pass and call 211 for help planning your trip.
Grass Valley Library
207 Mill Street, Grass Valley
Monday through Friday, June 10-August 13 (NO MEALS ON JULY 4th)
Lunch served from 12:00-12:30 pm
Activities from 12:30-1:00 pm
Lyman Gilmore Middle School
10837 Rough and Ready Hwy, Grass Valley
Monday through Friday, June 11-August 9 (NO MEALS ON JULY 4th)
Lunch served from 11:30 am to 12:00 pm outside near the basketball courts.
10115 Donner Trail Road, Truckee (behind Plumas Bank)
Monday through Friday, July 8-August 2 (NO MEALS ON JULY 4th)
Lunch served from 12:15 to 12:45 pm
Activities from 12:45-1:15 pm
350 Race Street, Grass Valley
Monday through Friday, June 17-August 9 (NO MEALS JULY 1st-5th)
Lunch served from 12:00 to 12:30 pm between the pool and the new playground
Food Bank Lunches
The Food Bank of Nevada County is also offering free summer lunches for kids, Monday through Friday, June 10-August 2. Lunches are served at six different apartment complexes in Grass Valley.
Summer lunches are open to all kids (you don’t need to live in the apartments to participate). See the Food Bank’s Summer Lunches flyer for details. From more information, call 530-272-3796.
The Nevada County Adult & Family Services Commission is seeking community input on the needs of people with very low income in Nevada County.
The commission is holding two Community Forums to learn more about community needs related to the broad issues of poverty, unemployment, education, health, nutrition, housing, homelessness, crime, transportation, delinquency, obstacles to self-sufficiency, and economic opportunity.
Individual community members and representatives of local organizations are invited to share their views and experiences. In Eastern Nevada County, the forum will be held on Thursday, December 6th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the Truckee Government Center, 10075 Levon Avenue. In Western Nevada County, the forum will be held on Friday, December 7th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Nevada County Government Center, 950 Maidu Avenue in Nevada City. Each speaker will be given five minutes to present. A sign-up sheet for speakers will be provided at the door.
If you are unable to attend a Community Forum, you can still make your voice heard by completing a short survey online. There is a survey for individual community members and one for community organizations. If you would like a written form, contact Suzi Kochems by phone at 530-228-7811 or by email at email@example.com.
The mission of the Adult & Family Services Commission is to represent the community to the Board of Supervisors on issues regarding health and human services and family interests of all residents of Nevada County. The information gathered at the upcoming Community Forums will contribute to the needs assessment process required as a part of the 2020/21 Community Action Plan (CAP). The CAP is part of the application process for ongoing Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding for supportive service programs.
What: Community Forums on the Needs of People with Low Income
When & Where:
Thursday, December 6th, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
Truckee Government Center, 10075 Levon Avenue, Truckee
Friday, December 7th, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Nevada County Government Center, 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City
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.
AARP 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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!
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.
County Announces Free Bus Pass for Riders Age 80+
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).
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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
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
First 5 Nevada County
250 Sierra College Drive
Grass Valley, CA
AAA Car Seat Installation Inspector (This is for all, not just AAA members!)
113 Dorsey Drive
Grass Valley, CA
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.