The best bus ever

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

Thursday, August 30, 2007

New options for BSU commuters

If you ever travel to Boise State University - whether for classes or community events - you know it's a huge hassle to park on or near campus. Moreover, the majority of BSU's 19,000+ students commute to school, adding to the valley's growing traffic load. But BSU seems committed to addressing these issues.

The Arbiter, BSU's student paper, had a story this week on a few new options that may make travel to BSU a bit less wearing. Free shuttle service is now available between the main campus and the BSU West campus in Nampa (which is also set to be home to the new College of Western Idaho). Free service will also be available to BSU from other outlying communities. Read more here.

Don't forget that shuttle service is also available between downtown Boise and BSU on football game days - like today. Go Broncos!

In related news, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter had a re-election fundraiser last night. I wasn't there in time to hear him speak about his vision for a second term, but people told me that his pledge to improve transit got the most applause by far.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Take the bus to the fair

I took a new-to-me route yesterday, the No. 8 Chinden to the Western Idaho Fairgrounds. I was one of three people who got off at the stop at Chinden and Kent in Garden City, a short walk to the entrance gates. The other two were teenage girls probably arriving to take advantage of the fair's special rate for rides between noon and 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Of course, since bus service ends around 6 p.m. and most people stay at the fair well past that, it'd be hard for many fairgoers to rely on Valley Ride for a trip home. But the lack of evening service wasn't an issue for me since I was meeting my husband, who arrived later.

How many times have your family fair schedules been staggered so that you wound up with two vehicles at the fair? How many times have you gone out of your way to shuttle your older kids to the fair when they could've taken the bus instead, saving you at least one trip? Both Route 8 and Route 10 (Hill Road/Maple Grove) serve the fairgrounds.

Why not take the bus to the fair this year? Hint: If you have to transfer to a fairgrounds route (as I did from the No. 3 Vista), a $2 day pass is your best bet even if you are only riding one way. Also remember that most Valley Ride routes (including Nos. 8 and 10) run only once an hour during the middle of the day, so make your plans accordingly if you need to arrive by a certain time. And since there's so Sunday service at all, forget about riding the bus for the 2007 fair's final day.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back soon. Really.

I'm finally done with my summer travels, which involved a sublime week in which I didn't get in my car at all in mid-July, followed by a week in ferry-full British Columbia, then a business trip on which I made full use of Chicago's fine CTA, then another biz trip on which I experienced the full force of this summer's screwy air travel. (I spent seven hours at O'Hare last Wednesday on what was supposed to be an hour layover, but I've heard of far worse.)

Now that I am home for good, more or less, I went to buy a one-year pass at Valley Ride yesterday. Denied again - but they sold me 12 one-month passes for the price of an annual one, so I can't complain. Word is that Valley Ride may be phasing out the annual passes. I think it's still possible to get one, but only when the right person is in the office at a certain phase of the moon, I guess.

I'll be back on the blog on a bit more regular basis pretty soon.