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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Welcome to the Boise Bus Blog

Greetings, and welcome to the Boise Bus Blog. My name is Julie Fanselow, and I live on Boise's Central Bench, a working-class area about a mile from the Boise State University campus (Go Broncos!) and two-and-a-half miles from the heart of downtown Boise. Since 2003, I've written Red State Rebels, one of the top progressive political blogs in the Mountain West. I also worked as the campaign blogger for Democratic candidate Larry Grant during his 2006 run for Congress in Idaho's 1st District. The New York Times included me in a recent roundup of influential bloggers that worked for campaigns during the midterm elections. I am currently back to my freelance writing business of 15 years, Write the Change, in which I focus on people who are doing "small-d" grassroots democracy work and community building.

So why do a new blog focused on my local bus service? I have my reasons:
  • I love Boise, and when we bought our house here in 2004, I was excited to learn we were literally on one bus route (the #29 Overland, since rerouted slightly but still within half a block) and within a few blocks of another (the #3 Vista). This was a big step up from our previous home in Twin Falls, Idaho, where there was no public transportation to speak of. Alas, I soon learned that Boise's bus service has serious limitations. The worst issue is that the buses do not run after about 7 p.m. Other drawbacks are a total lack of Sunday service and infrequent service during the middle of the day.
  • I've been an occasional bus rider in the past, typically riding a few times a month. I'd like to ride the bus a lot more than I do. It's a challenge, since I work out of my house, I don't need the bus to get to work, and many places I go are within walking distance. But with some advance planning, I know I could ride the bus more to downtown meetings, activities, and events; the airport; the movies; and even the mall. This blog will document my efforts to do that.
  • I believe that by riding the bus more, I will be making a personal commitment to using less oil, improving our local air quality, and being healthier. (I already walk a lot, but I'll be walking more, to and from bus stops.) My increased ridership may also help make Boise's public transportation system more viable, particularly if it inspires others to take transit at least part time.
  • At the same time, I'd like to hold the local transit providers and government officials more accountable as they work toward trying to build support for exapnded local transit. As one of the nation's fastest-growing metro areas, Idaho's Treasure Valley still has a long way to go to become a truly transit-friendly area. I fully support that goal, and if I can play some small part in making that happen, that'd be great.
So here it is, the Boise Bus Blog. I invite all Treasure Valley transit users to use this blog to post comments about their own transit experiences (good and bad); small, short-term changes they'd like to see made; and their visions for our area's long-term transit future. Those are the things I'll be writing about, too.

This project is in no way associated with Valley Ride (the local bus provider) or any government entity, though I do plan to tell them what I'm doing.

Welcome, and I hope to see you on the buses in Boise. Click here to return to the most recent post.


Anonymous said...

Thank you and good luck!

I've been riding the bus since I moved here in 1990. In spite of all the changes in that time, I can't honestly say that there has been any improvement.

I am one of the many who are forced to rely on the bus for all their transit needs. As a partially sighted (legally blind) individual, I am rather limited in my transit options.

For a city this size, the system should/could be so much better. Even if only common sense were used in decision making (i.e. office located in Meridian and not easily accessible to those who rely on the bus).

I could go on with 17 years of experiences, but even now, I am hopeful that the city will eventually listen to the public and realize how much a viable transit system would be worth to their bottom line.

Again, best of luck to you, and now that I have found you, I'll check back as often as I can.


anglachel.reforged said...

also, i can not get my customized trip thingy to work. do you have a contact you can suggest?

this is how i found out about the site

please shoot me an email

Julie in Boise said...

Hey, sorry but this is an unofficial site and I have nothing to do with the customized trip planner. You'll need to contact Valley Ride for help with that.

You point out the need for an easy, instant interactive trip planner such as that MANY transit providers offer on their website.

Anonymous said...

I applaud your efforts, and look forward to reading more.

NAPTA said...

Hello! We here at the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates were wondering if you’d be willing to post the following information on your blog. We are working to get word about NAPTA’s resurgence out to transit advocates and enthusiasts around the country. As a leader in these issues in your community, we hope you’ll be willing to help spread the word.


After some terrific success supporting additional transit funding in the last Transportation Reauthorization legislation, the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates (NAPTA) has taken a lower profile in recent years – until now!

We are pleased to let you know that NAPTA will be resuming a more proactive role in the Public Transportation advocacy arena, starting with three important efforts:

1) Building the Network: We are reaching out to transit advocates around the country seeking new members for the NAPTA network. You can learn more and sign up for free here.

2) Future of NAPTA Survey: We are asking old and new members alike to give us their thoughts on what potential products, resources and services would be most useful to NAPTA members. Please take a minute to respond to our online survey at: Deadline for responses is October 22, 2007.

3) NAPTA Events at Rail~Volution: Finally, we are hosting several important events at Rail~Volution, 2007. These include a luncheon on Saturday November 3rd at 12:15pm, as well as NAPTA activities at the tradeshow reception on Thursday, November 1st. Please stop by the American Public Transportation Association booth for more information.

Please e-mail us at if you have any questions or comments. We look forward to hearing from you!

CT said...

Hi! would love to be in touch with you about your great blog. Please drop me a line:

Limo VIP Bus said...

Great blog.
Keep it up guys.