I drove to Meridian this morning (26 miles round trip) and bought my six-month pass. Karen at the Valley Ride office told me they are trying to implement the smart-card technology that would enable Valley Ride to sell annual passes, but it isn't there yet.
While at Valley Ride HQ, I also saw Mark Carnopis, the Valley Regional Transit community relations manager whom I've met at earlier transit meetings. I told him I told him what I have planned with the Boise Bus Blog and invited him to jump in with comments and clarifications. He told me Nampa-based Treasure Valley Transit already has a blog, and so it does, although it is infrequently updated.
Fun fact: It is a mile-and-a-half from the Valley Ride HQ to the nearest public transit stop, the Park-and-Ride at the intersection of I-84 and Meridian Road, on the southeastern side of the highway by Gold's Gym. As far as I can tell (and maybe Mark can set me straight if I am wrong!), the commuter-oriented #40 Nampa Express is the only bus that stops there. So theoretically, if you needed or wanted to buy a six-month pass and didn't have a car, you could ride to that stop via the 8:21 a.m. bus from 8th and Idaho, arriving at 8:40; hike the mile-and-a-half to downtown Meridian, where the Valley Ride office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and hang out all day before catching the next bus back to Boise at 3:16 p.m.
As Valley Ride expands, it seems it would make sense to have a daylong route between downtown Boise and downtown Meridian, probably running along Fairview. Certainly not everyone in Meridian has a car or wants to drive all the time. Or do they?