The best bus ever

The best bus ever
Jason Sievers' awesome Art in Transit bus

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Voters like transit funding

... at least in other states. A recent post on Rob's Idaho Perspective notes that in the November elections ...

Across the nation, $40 billion in new public transit funding was approved. Voters in 13 states approved 21 of the 33 ballot measures, including 7 statewide initiatives. This provides me hope for the future of the Treasure Valley of Idaho. As I have mentioned before in this blog, Idaho is one of only 4 states which provide no state funding for transit and restricts local funding of transit - Hawaii, Alaska, and Mississippi are the others. The coalition is working with the Idaho legislature to allow local option funding. This isn't an initiative to raise taxes, its an initiative to allow us to ask the citizens if they want to pay for public transit. Today in Idaho, we can't even do that.

As commenter Yossarian_22 mentions in the New Year's resolutions thread below, the Idaho Legislature will decide in its upcoming session whether to allow Idaho voters to make local public transit funding decisions. Now is the time to contact your legislators and ask their support for allowing Idaho voters to decide whether they want enhanced transit.


wolf21m said...

Hey, thanks for the reference. As a two year active transit user, I have been contemplating posts for your blog. I think the funding situation is one that is important for people to understand. Without new funding sources, the federal matching funds will continue to decrease and service will decrease along with it.

Bikeboy said...

Here's a notion I throw out for consideration...

They're constantly either expanding, or planning to expand, the I-84 corridor from Boise to points west. (If I'm not mistaken, part of the massive Dirk Kempthorne Memorial Highway priject is another lane out to Caldwell.)

No matter how many lanes there are... they are filled at Rush Hour. (Every morning I listen to the traffic reports on the radio... starting at 6am it's start-and-go from Garrity on in.)

SO... is the Treasure Valley ready for a HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lane? (Dedicated lane on the Interstate, for car-poolers, vans, motorcycles.) This would be an incentive to NOT drive in from Caldwell every day alone.

And... the reason I bring it up on the bus blog is... in the SLC area, they have HOV lanes, and single-drivers can also "buy in" - get a $50 monthly pass to use the lane. Could such revenue be collected here, and thrown into the public-transit fund?