The best bus ever

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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tales of a Treasure Valley commuter

That's the name of a new blog by Byron Yankey, a Canyon County educator who is also running for state Representative in District 13. He's writing about other topics, too, like films, food, and fun at the Canyon County Fair. Check it out.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bus stop signs going up

I got back from vacation and found that the Valley Ride bus stop signs are going up around Boise. The Idaho Statesman reported this week that the work of marking 725 stops along 14 routes is about half done. In the same story, VRT spokesman Mark Carnopis makes the point that the signs and occasional shelters - not benches - mark bus stops.

It looks like my one regular route, the #3 Vista, has been fully marked, while the #29 Overland has not been. What are you seeing? Do the stops seem to be in logical places? Are you happy with the locations? Valley Ride has more info and a list of proposed stops on its website.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Transportation hearings skip Boise

A series of six public hearings are planned this month with Gov. Butch Otter and the Idaho Transportation Board. Interestingly, they will NOT be visiting the state's largest city by far. Here are the dates and places for the meetings, all of which will run from 4 to 7 p.m.:

Caldwell, July 14, at the College of Idaho Simplot Dining Hall
Coeur d'Alene, July 16, at the Best Western Coeur d'Alene Inn
Lewiston, July 17, at the Red Lion Hotel
Idaho Falls, July 22, at the Shilo Inn Suites Hotel
Pocatello, July 23, at the Red Lion Hotel
Twin Falls, July 24, at the Red Lion Hotel Canyon Springs

If you don't want to drive to Caldwell to voice your support for alternative transportation choices including effective public transit and bike and walking paths, you can send your comments to Jeff Stratten, Idaho Transportation Department via email to or call him at (208) 334-8005.

One way or another, state officials need to understand that we cannot pave our way out of our current predicament of $4+/gallon gas and air-quality alerts.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Legislating for $4+/gallon gas

The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed the "Saving Energy Through Public Transportation Act," a bill that chief sponsor Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minnesota) called “a downpayment on an increased investment in public transportation.” The House passed the bill on a lopsided vote of 322-98, with many Republicans - including U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson - joining the ayes. Rep. Bill Sali voted no. (Roll call here.) It's also good to see that at least one Idaho legislator is onboard with the need for better transit options. Here's hoping that Larry Craig and Mike Crapo will follow Simpson's lead when the Senate considers the bill later this month.

In other transit-related legislation, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) introduced a bill this week that would reward Americans who choose to drive less, telecommute, or buy homes near mass transit. "In short, he'd like to make the country look more like Portland, where he said people on average drive 20 percent less than in other metropolitan areas and bikes, buses and light rail are prominent parts of the transportation mix," writes The Oregonian's Jeff Mapes. (More here.)