Businesses in Nevada have been directed to shut down by order of Gov. Steve Sisolak unless they are deemed to be essential and one of the most essential services in any community is transportation.
Locally, Pahrump Valley Public Transportation has established a demand-response bus service that for the past two years has been helping residents get around town and over the hill into Las Vegas.
Coronavirus concerns may have dampened transportation to social occasions and non-essential businesses but there are still plenty of other reasons for area citizens to need a lift, ranging from a ride to or from work or medical appointments to grocery shopping or conducting other essential errands.
“Yes, we are still fully operational,” Eric Whalen, of Pahrump Valley Public Transportation, responded on Friday, March 20 when asked about the state of the bus service. “In fact, we have increased our hours of operation to ensure that seniors are better able to take advantage of the early morning grocery shopping that Albertsons and Smith’s have offered.”
Whalen detailed that Pahrump Valley Public Transportation is regularly cleaning its vehicles throughout the day to help minimize the possibility of riders being exposed to COVID-19.
“Our service is noticing a sharp increase in cancellations for local trips but demand for our Las Vegas trips has increased as those are typically doctors’ visits,” Whalen explained. “We have suspended Sunday operations until further notice since that was primarily church-goers and with the churches being closed, there is no need to run. VETrans is still operating, per Sandy Jennings. We will continue to run in efforts to help the community during this crisis, unless we are otherwise mandated to cease operations.”
“Please schedule well in advance to secure your rides,” a post on the bus service’s Facebook page emphasized. “Our offices will remain open for phone calls only. Public access to our offices at 601 East Street will be suspended until further notice.”
At this time, Pahrump Valley Public Transportation’s hours of operations are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturday, with Sunday service temporarily suspended. Fare is $3 per trip one way and must be paid upon boarding. For seniors age 60 and over a $3 donation is suggested per one-way trip.
Pahrump Valley Public Transportation also offers trips over the hill into Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas. These trips are available Monday through Friday and must be scheduled at least two weeks, but no more than two months, in advance.
The cost for transportation to Las Vegas is $25 per round trip, which must be paid upon boarding. For seniors age 60 and over a donation of $25 per round trip is suggested.
To schedule a ride with Pahrump Valley Public Transportation call 775-751-6860.
VETrans, the local transportation service operated under the umbrella organization NyE Communities Coalition, provides rides free of charge to veterans for medical purposes and is still in operation as well.
“VETrans is operating Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for appointments,” VETrans representative Sandy Jennings stated on Monday, March 23.
VETrans is exclusively for veterans who need transportation to medical appointments or to the pharmacy for prescription pick-up in Pahrump. In addition, VETrans goes into Las Vegas on the first and third Monday and the first and third Friday of each month.
“We encourage our veterans to call us, at no charge, for appointments,” Jennings detailed. “Call 775-572-8387 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. to schedule a ride.”
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at firstname.lastname@example.org