The best way to view the Lake Tahoe area is by your own car. They offer freedom and the chance to stop at the many beautiful outlooks and beaches around the pristine lake. However, cars can also be an environmental nightmare for Tahoe and its residents. Because of the lack of roads that circumnavigate the lake and the bottleneck areas of the two-lane road, traffic and pollution on busy holiday or summer and ski weekends can tax any driver…and the lake’s fresh air and famous clarity.
Several companies and organizations in Tahoe have organized a few options for getting around the lake on public transportation. Most of these public options stop at various popular areas around the lake and go to and from the Truckee and Reno airports. A few private companies will take you to areas not reached by public transportation such as Virginia City or the Donner Lake area.
South Shore Public Transportation
These buses service the South Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Zephyr Cove and Meyers areas while an express line runs to Carson City, Minden and Gardnerville. Local passes are $2 one-way, $5 all day.
South Tahoe Express
Shuttle service with 8 daily departures between the Reno airport and South Shore’s major resorts. Adult fares are $26 one-way, $46.50 round trip. Children 4-12 years old are $13.50 one-way, $24.85 round trip.
Nifty Fifty Trolley
This old-style red trolley runs until September 6, two trolleys make hourly stops from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. between South Lake Tahoe and Tahoma; weekend service until October 3. Hop on TART from Tahoma to access the West and North shores and Truckee. Look for the red trolley stop signs near major areas like Camp Richardson.
North Shore Public Transportation
Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART)
Buses run daily from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. along 30 miles of shoreline. The service includes an hourly shuttle between Tahoe City and Truckee. It costs $1.75 for one-way and $3.50 for an all-day pass. Most buses are equipped with bike racks in summer and ski racks in winter.
These biodiesel-powered, all-wheel drive vehicles service Truckee, the North and West shores, Donner Summit, Northstar, Squaw Valley and the Reno and Truckee Airports. Prices depend on length of trip and number of people in your party. Call or visit the website for a reservation request and quote.
Squaw Creek Transportation
This transport company provides private charters and an hourly airport shuttle to and from the Reno airport to the Resort at Squaw Creek 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. This transportation option is only available for guests of the resort.
North Lake Tahoe Express
This Reno airport shuttle service travels around the North Shore and to Truckee via three different routes from 3:30 a.m. until midnight. It costs $40 one-way and $75 for round-trip.
This free trolley runs only during the summer (from July 1 to Labor Day). It travels from Squaw Valley to Incline Village from 7 p.m. until midnight. Passengers can transfer between North/South and East/West segments at the Tahoe City “Y”.