Some of us don't have much choice about how to get around and whether or not to keep buying high-priced gas. If you live several miles out and/or away from available public transportation, choices become limited; drive the car, pay the petroleum toll, or stay home. Most of us, though, can come up with ways to ease the pain without drastic lifestyle changes. With a little thought and planning, we can reduce our transportations costs by using alternatives readily available to everyone today. None of these are new, but they sure are looking better and better.
Ride A Bike
Resources for bicycle commuting are popping up as fast as gas prices are rising. While this isn't a viable alternative for everyone, many of us can give bike riding serious consideration. Local officials and businesses are helping provide information through efforts such as GetHealthyWashoe.com / Bike To Work Day. Among other things, this site has a wealth of information about urban riding.
There are plenty of other bicycling resources around the Truckee Meadows. Reno & Sparks bike shops can provide you with the bicycles, accessories, service, and advice needed to get started and keep going. You can join a cycling club and get involved with local bicycle organizations.
- Procrastinating Pedalers
- Reno Wheelmen
- Reno Bike Project
- RTC Bikes on Buses
- Alta Alpina Cycling Club
- Bicycle Nevada
About.com: Bicycling provides us with more information about bicycling and pedal-powered communting with these informative articles.
Take The Bus
The Regional Transit Commission (RTC) operates the bus system around Reno and Sparks. It also has a commuter service between Reno and Carson City and is a partner with Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART) up at Lake Tahoe. Even though fares are increasing and service is being cut back, ridership is rising. According to RTC spokesman Roger Hanson, ridership recently increased 5 to 10 percent around Washoe County, and the route between Reno and Carson City has seen a 33 percent rise since March. Here are links to learn more about RTC bus services. And if you just can't stand to be offline, RTC INTERCITY and RTC SIERRA SPIRIT buses have WiFi access.
- RTC RIDE: Bus service around Reno and Sparks
- RTC RAPID: Fast service on the Virginia Street corridor
- RTC SIERRA SPIRIT: Free bus service around downtown Reno and UNR
- RTC INTERCITY: Bus service between Reno and Carson City
- RTC ACCESS: Paratransit service for people with qualifying disabilities
- RTC SMART TRIPS: Free alternative transportation planning service
- TART: Lake Tahoe Basin bus service
Carpool and Vanpool
RTC operates a free carpool matching program and a vanpool program for those who prefer either of these communting alternatives.
Gas hogs of the recent past, which many of us still own (including me), have literally become too expensive to run for commuting or running errands around town. My pickup sits in the driveway for months; it takes us camping a couple of times a year and that's about it. If you are in a position where getting to work requires driving your own car, or if you just prefer to do so, here is some information to help add savings and efficiency to driving around Reno.
- Reno Gas Prices
- Driving Times and Distances from Reno / Sparks Within Nevada
- Reno Road & Highway Conditions
Walking seems to be a concept lost somewhere in the distant past. I don't know if it's because we are always in a big hurry or have just become lazy since it's so easy not to walk anywhere. With over 300 days a year of sunshine and little rain, walking around Reno and Sparks is a feasible way to get places. I make no claims about being a world-class pedestrian, but I hoof it all over downtown Reno to visit business people, take pictures, enjoy events, and gather information for some of my About.com stories. Not only do I save money on gas and parking, I get to know the city and its people much better than I ever could from inside an idling car.