INCLINE VILLAGE, NV - Summertime at Lake Tahoe is hard to beat. It's no longer the best kept secret with tourists from all over the world flocking to the beaches, it's meant congestion on state highways and dangerous conditions for drivers and sunbathers alike. That's why this year a shuttle between Incline Village and Sand Harbor is working on a trial basis.
Step inside the shuttle that goes between Incline Village and Sand Harbor and you may wonder why they didn't think of this years ago.
But this is the first year for the shuttle.
Funded with money from Nevada's Department of Transportation and the Forest Service, it leaves at the old site of Incline Elementary School, and heads down Highway 28.
The first thing you'll notice is the absence of cars, barefoot sunbathers, and coolers along the roadway.
“If anybody has been up here driving along Highway 28 seen all the cars parked along the road, and people walking like it's a sidewalk, that's a major concern, and a big problem for state parks or anyone who moves through the corridor at all,” says Carl Hasty with Tahoe Transportation District.
Hasty says last year alone law enforcement handed out 600-citations to drivers who were illegally parked, or sat idle along the roadway waiting for a parking space at Sand Harbor to open up.
Those days are gone.
The bus drops people off right out in front where the beach is only a small walk away..
A very different experience than having to fight for parking spot, and schlep your belongings.
Those we talked to said while they didn't use the bus on this day, they are not opposed to using it and in fact, thought it was a great option.
“Prevent traffic, save gas, people would get together, all that good stuff, says Adam Scott, a California tourist.
“If you are tired you don't want to get behind the wheel and fall asleep,” says Steven Dickson, a Reno resident.
More than 1400 people took the shuttle on the 4th of July.
While that number certainly doesn't represent an average rider ship, officials say they believe they are on track for 10,000 passengers by the end of the season.