Gold and Precious Metals

Easter arrives early at Silver Rider

By KEVIN NICOLAS

The Progress

Wendy Gaal and Merilyn Anderson pose with the Easter bunny during a fun-filled and informative afternoon at Silver Rider in Mesquite last weekend. Photo courtesy of Junior Vasquez

Mesquite kids and seniors alike gathered at Mesquite’s Silver Rider bus line office on Saturday, March, 16 for an early preview of the Easter holiday.

Kids of all ages had the opportunity to meet, learn about the city’s bus transit service, and take pictures with the Easter bunny.

Attendees got to dance and sing their hearts out while local staffers from Silver Rider offered tours of their buses. These tours had the staff demonstrating how to safely board a bus, instructing how the local bus fares work, and reviewing all the local routes that Silver Rider offers.

Silver Rider is a non-profit organization that is funded through grants from Nevada Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Commission. The line serves rural communities such as Laughlin, Mesquite and Boulder City.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Silver Rider has seen its ridership diminish significantly. This lack of demand has put some of its local operations at risk of losing funding.
“Our ridership in Mesquite is declining because a lot of the people who used to ride the bus a lot didn’t come back after COVID,” said Silver Rider Director of Operations Anna Talamo.

Talamo said that last week’s event was to showcase the bus system in Mesquite to the public, with specific targets being kids and seniors.
“We’re hoping that if we do an event with an Easter bunny, that children would want to come,” she said. “This would bring their parents, too, to see how the bus system works.”

Talamo emphasized that the Silver Rider moniker refers to the Silver State and not to silver-haired senior riders. “Younger people and kids can definitely ride the bus, and kids can even ride by themselves,” she said.

Silver Rider has routes that go to the recreation center, stores and the local schools. “So it could be advantageous for kids to utilize the bus to get around town,” Talamo said. “And them riding the bus could help us have higher ridership.”

Talamo recalled that when she first started with Silver Rider in 2008, the bus route in Mesquite was very small and the city had no bus shelters.

That has changed over the years. Silver Rider now has two fixed routes that cover most neighborhoods and businesses in town. Buses make stops as far out as Bunkerville on one of the routes; and as far as the Crown can factory and Eagles Landing truck stop on the other. In addition, the city is equipped with a host of new bus shelters and new transit vehicles.

“We are just hoping that the buzz in the city will talk about the bus system,” Talamo said. “We’ve been working really hard so that the public knows about us. Yes, Mesquite is small, but we have a big city bus system.”

For more information about Silver Rider bus routes and fares, visit www.sntc.net or call 702-346-7006.

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