Public transportation in Nevada County shares a colorful history from the early days of the California Gold Rush when newcomers arrived by stagecoach, carriage, and later by narrow gauge train. At the turn of the century, Lyman Gilmore developed and patented a steam-powered aircraft. Gilmore claimed to have flown in May 1902, more than a year before the Wright brothers. In 1907 Gilmore opened the world’s first commercial air field in Grass Valley which he operated until the hangar was destroyed by fire in 1935.
Reminders of those days can be found in the services offered by Gold Country Stage. Gold Country Stage offers site seeing services to the historical Gold Rush sites throughout Western Nevada County. Gold Country Stage also provides an important transportation link among the local communities for residents and visitors. Their fleet of buses serves Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley, North San Juan, Cedar Ridge, Lake Wildwood, Alta Sierra and Lake of the Pines. Gold Country Stage also connects the area with Placer County cities of Colfax and Auburn, stopping at lots of locations in between.
Gold Country Telecare provides door-to-door transportation services for seniors and persons with disabilities. Advanced scheduling is required.
For a century following the California Gold Rush, the rail road was a primary transportation link for people and supplies in and out of the area. Remnants of the famous narrow gauge train tracks are still found around Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum. Short rides are available on the recently reconstructed “Sarah Kidder” rail bus. For today’s rail traveler, connection to Amtrak services in Colfax is provided by Gold Country Stage.
The cities of Western Nevada County are less than an hour and a half from the Sacramento and Reno/Tahoe International Airports. Private shuttle and limo services provide transportation to those airports.
Business owners and local residents use the Nevada County Airport as a gateway to international airports nearby. The airport is home to many types of aircraft including homebuilt, commercial charter, ultralight, and private. Both air charter and aircraft maintenance services are available through private businesses. The airport is also home to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Grass Valley Inter-Agency Air Attack Base. For more information contact the airport manager at (530) 273-3374.
The Nevada County Transportation Commission coordinates transportation planning for Grass Valley, Nevada City, Truckee and Nevada County. The commission works with the local communities and CALTRANS to identify transportation needs, propose solutions, and assist in implementing projects to create a balanced regional transportation system, while protecting the rural qualities and historic character of Nevada County.