Transportation

SkyWest, airplane, airport
Aero Icarus / Flickr Creative Commons

SkyWest Airlines has announced it will soon offer jet flights between West Yellowstone and Salt Lake City to connect passengers with Delta flights.

The Delta Connection flights, operated by SkyWest, will begin in June. The airline says it will run flights twice a day from Thursday through Monday and once each day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Boise’s long-awaited bike share system will begin installing stations downtown this week. Boise GreenBike hopes to have its first 15 stations operational, and its first 114 bikes on the road by the end of April.

Boise GreenBike Director Dave Fotsch says four years' worth of work will culminate in the next few weeks. 

Welcome to Idaho
Craig Cloutier / Flickr Creative Commons

A six-member joint panel has reached a compromise that would partially address Idaho's roads funding shortfall.

The new plan was passed unanimously by the Legislature's special joint conference committee on Friday afternoon after two full days of negotiations. The proposal would raise $95 million — far short of the $262 million annual shortfall the state has faced for road maintenance since 2010.

There's money in a state highway budget that passed the Washington House Thursday to study a one-of-a-kind possible toll bridge fashioned out of retired Navy aircraft carriers.

A special committee in the Idaho legislature assigned to find a compromise deal on roads funding ended the day Thursday with plenty of frustration but, still no deal.

Washington drivers might get to drive 75 on some rural highways.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

On Friday afternoons, the crowd at the B gates of the Boise Airport includes a lot of familiar faces from the Idaho capitol.

Sen. Bob Nonini knows everybody. He's one of the longest-serving north Idaho lawmakers.

“We got Rep. Don Cheatham, Rep. Ron Mendive, Sen. Mary Souza, Rep. Sage Dixon, Rep. Vito Barbieri, Rep. Heather Scott, Rep. Kathy Sims, and Rep. Eric Redmond,” Nonini said. “And we go home -- most of us -- go home every weekend. And then come back.”

Everyone was in jeans and sneakers, ready to fly to Spokane.

Jimmy Emerson / Flickr Creative Commons

The Idaho Senate is teeing up for a new round of negotiations Monday on how to fund much-needed repairs on roads and bridges.

Lawmakers are going into their second week of overtime. But the two chambers of the Legislature haven’t been able to come to an agreement on one of their top priorities this year: raising an estimated $262 million for roads. The Senate declined to hear a House package that would have raised the gas tax by 7 cents.
 

House leadership has now effectively told the Senate: it’s your turn.

The Idaho Senate decided to kill a major overhaul to Idaho’s tax system Tuesday.

Metal Chris / Flickr

An aggressive three-part proposal to eliminate sales tax on groceries, lower income taxes on Idaho's top earners while hiking the fuels tax by 7 cents per gallon has passed the Idaho House.

House lawmakers voted 53-17 Monday to send the bill to the Senate for approval.

Majority Leader Mike Moyle says the bill will boost Idaho's economy by attracting more businesses and providing families with more money they would have spent on grocery taxes.

Doug Kerr / Flickr Creative Commons

House Republicans are introducing an eleventh-hour patchwork plan to raise more than $100 million for Idaho roads.

The House Ways and Means Committee introduced two of the three parts Wednesday morning — including registration fee hikes and up to $26 million in general fund dollars.

The proposal is similar to legislation killed by the House Transportation Committee last week.

But House Majority Leader Mike Moyle says that he hopes breaking the plan up into three pieces will let lawmakers approve at least some of the parts.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho House committee has killed a Republican legislative leader's multi-faceted plan to tackle the state's growing transportation funding shortfall.

The House Transportation and Defense Committee voted 14-2 on Friday to block the proposal.

The bill would have raised $135 million by raising fuel taxes and registration rates, —roughly half of the state's $262 million annual transportation deficit.

Courtesy: Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce

Alaska Airlines announced Wednesday it's adding a direct flight from Boise to Spokane beginning in August.

Southwest Airlines already operates a Boise to Spokane flight.

Alaska's President and CEO Brad Tilden made the announcement during a Boise Chamber of Commerce event. Tilden says Alaska will add two direct flights each day from Boise to Spokane on a 76-seat Bombardier Q400 plane.

A group of Republican lawmakers in Idaho is offering a plan they say could raise up to $81 million for road and bridge repairs by next year.

Albert Lynn / Flickr Creative Commons

Two House Republicans say they have a last-minute proposal to raise $70 million to $100 million per year in new transportation funding.

The House Transportation and Defense Committee is slated to consider the eleventh-hour proposal Tuesday. The plan would draw from overall tax revenue growth and a temporary five-cent fuel tax increase to tackle the state's $262 million annual transportation shortfall.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Two months into Idaho’s legislative session, many of the priorities lawmakers set at the beginning of the year haven’t been touched. Legislative leaders say things like road and bridge funding and a tax overhaul may have to wait until next year.

At an event organized by the Idaho Press Club Wednesday, Speaker of the House Scott Bedke said he’s optimistic the session can end by March 27. That’s despite the fact that a highly-anticipated bill to give teachers a raise was introduced Wednesday and a comprehensive plan to pay for fixing Idaho’s roads and bridges hasn’t yet surfaced.

A panel in the Idaho House agreed to introduce legislation Thursday that would define ride-sharing services like Uber in state law -- and trump local efforts to regulate them.

Uber app

Ridesharing company Uber has suspended operations in Boise.

The company in a three-page letter to city leaders on Thursday says it became clear at a city council work session on Tuesday that the city plans to impose unworkable and onerous regulations. Uber spokesperson Michael Amodeo says the company does vehicle inspections and background checks on drivers.

“We think additional background checks would just place an additional hurdle or barrier to entry for our drivers that would make it more difficult for them to earn a living with the Uber platform," says Amodeo.

Kurt Wilson / Missoulian

Missoula, Mont.-based Neptune Aviation is considering launching a private charter service for direct flights to Boise, Seattle and Billings.

Neptune is known for its firefighting airplanes.

This week, Neptune’s CEO Ron Hooper outlined his idea to launch roundtrip flights from Missoula to Billings and Boise twice a week.

Marcel Pacatte

Boise City Council members had three hours of questions this afternoon about how ride-sharing platform Uber would work – and be regulated by the city.  In the end, the council voted unanimously to have an ordinance drafted for a public hearing by the end of next month.

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