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Valley Regional Transit to Propose More Frequency to Boise Bus Routes

As part of the sustainability proposals, officials with Valley Regional Transit will stand before the council this Tuesday, May 6, to brief lawmakers on a number of possible changes.

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In the current issue of Boise Weekly, we examine 11 ambitious proposals laid out before the Boise City Council as part of the city's increased sustainable initiatives (BW, News, "A Sustainable Boise? City Hall Prepares for Its Next Big Steps," April 30, 2014). One of the highest profile efforts proposes big changes to the region's transportation system.

As part of the sustainability proposals, officials with Valley Regional Transit will stand before the council this Tuesday, May 6, to brief lawmakers on a number of possible changes, including:

Expanding service to 10 p.m. on a number of key routes, including State Street, Fairview, Emerald, Vista, Parkcenter and Overland. This would cost $75,000 per year.

The No. 2 Broadway Route (serving St. Luke's Medical Center, Julia Davis Park, Boise State University, Federal Way and the neighborhoods in and around Timberline High School):
- Restoring up to three trips in the afternoon peak on the Broadway route, in order to serve students and other commuters. The cost would be $75,264 per year.

The No. 3 Vista Route (serving the Boise Airport, retailers around Vista, Boise State University, Julia Davis Park, the Boise Library and Downtown Boise):
-Adding more 30-minute frequency, to improve on-time transfers to the No. 1 Parkcenter route, costing $301,056 per year.

The No. 7 Fairview Route (serving Downtown Boise, retail on Fairview, the offices of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Capital High School and the Towne Square mall):
-Enhance service to create a 30-minute headway on Fairview, by adding an additional bus to the route all day, leaving every half-hour from downtown. The bus that departs at 45 minutes after the hour would serve the Town Square mall and the bus that departs at 15 minutes after the hour would serve a number of neighborhoods, including Ustick and Cole. The option would cost $301,056 per year.

In the shadow of the recession, changes were made to a number of VRT bus routes, which resulted in the elimination of some service, but transportation planners now want to return to the council with what it calls a "cafeteria plan" of service enhancement options to increase productivity and coverage.

The proposals from Valley Regional Transit will be presented during an afternoon City Council work session.