March 22, 2017
Writer: Nina Janne
Intercity bus routes could be coming to Idaho and two companies have proposals. Elevated Transit and Salt Lake Express are competing to receive $1.1 million to provide major transportation in Idaho. Elevated Transit submitted plans to create two unique bus routes. One would connect Salt Lake City with Rexburg. The other would run from Coeur d'Alene to Boise.
Salt Lake Express already connects Rexburg with Salt Lake City, so its proposal would fund three other routes: one from Jackson, WY to Idaho Falls, another from Rexburg to West Yellowstone, MT, and a third from Twin Falls to Sun Valley. I spoke with Jake Melder the Public Affairs Specialist with the Idaho Department of transportation and asked him if more public transportation in Idaho is needed.
"The Idaho Transportation Department has not been making any value statements in terms of public transportation either positive or negative," Melder said. "At the end of the day we are here to serve the public. We are not going to make any value statements outside actually hearing from the public."
Here's how it works, you can submit your comment on which option should get the funding anytime now until April 7th. Based on the comments the public transportation experts receive they will take the proposal to the Idaho Transportation Board. "We are excited to receive these proposals and to get comments on these proposals," Melder said. "Any opportunity that we receive federal funding we want to be responsible and appropriate it as best as we can to better serve the people of Idaho."
If you want to submit your comment, email ITD's grant/contracts officer Kim McGourty at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (208) 334-4475.