The best bus ever

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

Monday, December 31, 2007

The cost of transportation

(Guest post by Bikeboy. This is very similar to a post I put on my "Bike Nazi" blog. I'm also posting it here, because I'm confident it's of interest to public transit advocates.)

We got the memo at the office last Friday. It reads like this:

Effective January 1, 2008, the mileage reimbursement rate for the use of personal cars in conjunction with company business will be increased to 50.5¢ per mile, up from the current 48.5¢. The new rate is consistent with the maximum standard mileage rate currently authorized by the IRS.

Of course, the cost for using your car for personal business is about the same, but you don't get reimbursed. You just write out the checks... for gas, and for car payments, tires, repair expenses, parking, insurance, etc., etc. (It's easy to just consider the cost of fuel, since it comes up the most regularly.)

The IRS allowance is probably a somewhat-accurate indicator of what the actual cost is, to operate a motor vehicle. Could you save money by leaving the car home and taking the bus? There's a good chance of it. (ValleyRide just released their 2008 fare schedule - a local trip remains flat at $1.)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Passing judgment, again

Boy, Valley Ride sure doesn't make it easy to help the needy during the holidays.

I picked a card off the Giving Tree on the Grove in downtown Boise, on which the Women's and Children's Alliance specifies needs for their clients who are facing family crises. My card requested adult bus passes, youth bus passes, and umbrellas.

It's easy enough to buy adult bus passes in downtown Boise, where they are available at Boise City Hall and Winco. But if you're looking for a youth bus pass? You need to drive to Valley Ride's Meridian HQ. As I've reported in the past, a trip to Meridian is also necessary for those of us who want to buy long-term bus passes.
Why can't Valley Ride sell youth passes at Boise City Hall - at least during the holidays, when the WCA is requesting them?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Congratulations to COMPASS

COMPASS - the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho - has scooped up two national awards in recent months. The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) has picked the "Communities in Motion: Regional Long-Range Transportation Plan 2030" as a 2007 Project of the Year Merit Award winner, acknowledging COMPASS for its "use of innovative public participation techniques and for successfully involving the public in the planning process." The award was given November 15 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Earlier this fall, COMPASS' Communities in Motion plan also won the National Award for Outstanding Achievement in Metropolitan Transportation Planning from the Association for Metropolitan Planning Organizations. That award was presented in Little Rock, Arkansas, on October 4 during the AMPO Annual Conference.

Way to go, COMPASS. Now if we can start bringing that long-range plan to fruition!