Valley Ride needs to make it easier to buy bus passes.
Every year, the Women's and Children's Alliance in Boise hangs tags on the Christmas tree on Boise's Grove to seek donations for its work. I chose one requesting bus passes.
The Valley Ride website says you can buy monthly bus passes at Albertson's. I went to Albertson's to buy one, but they said they didn't have 'em. So I went to Boise City Hall and was able to buy one there.
When I decided to buy an annual bus pass (listed on Valley Ride's website and in its current paper schedule at $266), I emailed Valley Ride for more information. When I received no reply to my query in 24 hours, I called instead. That's when I learned that, despite what it says on the website and in Valley Ride's current schedule, annual passes are not available. I'd have to buy a $165 six-month pass, which is still a savings over the $36 monthly rate, but not as good as the $266 full-year deal.
Moreover, I learned that you have to drive to Meridian to buy a six-month bus pass. The fast-growing Boise suburb of Meridian is the geographical center of the Treasure Valley these days, but it's not exactly centrally located for folks in Boise, many of whom (lower-income people, students, refugees, etc) are more likely than suburbanites to need bus service.
Then again, I'm guessing many of the people who most need bus service can't or don't need to pay $165 at a time for a semi-annual pass. Many probably buy monthly passes (which are available at half price to seniors, disabled folks, and those on Medicare); others may get them through agencies like the WCA that help people in need.
Still, why not sell six-month passes available in several valleywide locations? And why did Valley Ride do away with the annual pass?