It's like riding an open-air bus, minus the wheels, the road, and the traffic. Dock-hopping is a new way for people to visit Lake Tahoe shops and restaurants, while getting a vacation from their car by taking a trip on a specially-made boat called "Tahoe Blue."
"Can you think of any better way?" Ron Treabess said. "I don't think so."
Treabess is with the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and helped get this project underway. The North Lake Tahoe Water Shuttle is a 30-foot boat that makes four stops between Tahoe Vista and Homewood, carrying 12 passengers. It also has room for eight bikes and a wheelchair.
"It's been an extremely good reception," Captain John Shuff said. "It's going to have to build up and people are going to continue to increase, but everyday, we seem to carry more passengers than we did the day before."
Dozens attended a ribbon cutting ceremony today, five days after the water shuttle officially launched. It's the start of a three-year pilot program, geared towards tourists, especially since only 2% of visitors go out on the lake.
"It's just a way to get out on the water and get from one spot to another, and most importantly, it's an alternative to the automobile, which we're always looking for ways to improve our traffic situation, up here," Treabess said.
The water shuttle allows people to avoid traffic, around Tahoe City. Shuff took some of his family on board and says it's much better than driving.
"Their mom drove up here to meet them and we beat them by ten minutes because she got stuck in traffic, in her car," Shuff said.
Not only could the water shuttle cut down on traffic, but it could also help local businesses.
"There is all kinds of shops, eating establishments, bicycle rental places, and even boat rentals, if you want to continue in the kayaks and, of course, paddle boarding," Treabess said.
Dana Hess and his family are on vacation and are taking the shuttle for the first time.
"Oh, this is fantastic and we have beautiful weather to boot," Hess said. "So, it just makes it a great ride, taking the daughter and the wife to Homewood, have some lunch, and then go back."
But it's not just visitors enjoying this service. Locals are also excited about boating instead of driving.
"Drop me off at the Tahoe City Marina, go to work for a few hours, take the shuttle back and go home," Incline Village resident Linda Adkins said. "Awesome!"
You can make reservations for $10 - $20 by going online or by using kiosks at some participating docks.
"It's real exciting and it's really fun," Shuff said. "People are having an absolute riot out here, with us."
The water shuttle is going to run between 8am and 8pm, through September 30. It will start up again on Memorial Day weekend.
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:17 AM EDT2013-05-19 05:17:58 GMT
Trailing 5-1 the University of Nevada baseball team scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to close within a run but was unable to complete the comeback falling 6-4 at Fresno State in theMore >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:24 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:24:52 GMT
RHP Randall Delgado had his best outing of the season for Reno, as the Aces secured their first series victory, in a 5-1 win over the Albuquerque Isotopes at Isotopes Park on Saturday night. DelgadoMore >>