The Treasure Valley’s bus system serves more than one million passengers every year. But with the region’s population growing rapidly, transit planners want to quadruple the system in the next 20 years.
Stephen Hunt is the principal planner for Valley Regional Transit. Every week, he hears from folks who use the bus system – many of whom complain about the limited routes and bus schedules.
“We get feedback directly from our customers just on an ongoing basis,” says Hunt.
Hunt says officials are well aware of the limitations with taking the bus. But over the next 20 years, he says he wants to branch out routes to suburbs and have busses run more frequently.
Much of the problem comes down to money. Unlike other transit systems around the country, VRT is not able to use a local option tax to offset costs.
“We have been trying to talk to the state about getting some kind of local option taxing authority for VRT virtually since VRT’s inception.”
Hunt says they’ll continue to lobby state leaders, but aren’t waiting to get a “yes” before formulating their ambitious plan to quadruple the bus system’s service -- and budget.
VRT is looking for feedback on their new strategic plan by March 15.
Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
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