Thank you all for your patience with my sporadic bus blogging these days. I started a new job (as online organizer for the Study Circles Resource Center) a month ago. Beyond that, I am working nights to finish the seventh edition of my guidebook Idaho Off the Beaten Path. Together with various and sundry volunteer activities, I don't have a lot of time for extracurricular blogging. But there's a lot going on, so I will try to bring us up to speed ...
Next Tuesday morning (October 16), Boise State University and more than a dozen mayors from all over Idaho will play host to the Idaho Transit Summit. Speakers from Utah and Oregon will discuss what's happened in their states, and Idaho leaders will try to come to grips with what is and isn't possible here in the Gem State. Click here for more info. The free events run from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Jordan Ballroom at BSU's Student Union. No RSVP is required.
Transit funding is certain to top the agenda next week, and The Idaho Statesman editorialized today about the likelihood that transit backers will float legislation that would also allow local option taxation for road projects. A snip: "For transit backers, splitting local tax dollars with road projects represents a half-a-loaf compromise. But it's better than nothing, considering that Idaho is one of but four states that provide no dedicated state or local dollars for public transportation." Read the whole editorial here.
Also in today's Statesman, a report on the Boise mayoral race included this: "The candidates had different approaches to mass transit, with (Jim) Tibbs emphasizing the need for a functional bus system in Ada and Canyon counties before looking to commuter or light rail trains. But (Dave) Bieter said he's sold on the benefits of a commuter rail line along the region's existing tracks. He also emphasized the need to make the Idaho Legislature's adoption of a local option tax to pay for transit a 'political inevitability.'"
Finally (for now), Idaho Smart Growth is seeking people to help with a transit Neighborhood Outreach Day on October 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m . If you can help, email Rachel at idahosmartgrowth dot org or call 333-8066.