The City of Idaho Falls is getting a public transportation system that will include a microtransit ride share service.
The city announced this in March of this year as well as announcing the new hire of Kade Marquez as the first transit coordinator for the city.
Marquez describes micro transportation as the middle ground of a private, solo service like Uber and a more traditional public transportation service such as a bus. You would use an app or make a phone call to a number and schedule a car to come and pick you up, but you wouldn’t be alone in the vehicle. You would be getting a ride with other people heading your same direction.
Idaho Falls obtained funding for this project from a CARES grant from the federal government and that allows them to hire a provider that will provide the vehicles, the drivers and the technology required to operate this program.
The transportation vehicles will be either a 14-passenger van or mini vans that will go to your location and pick you up.
Marquez’s main goal is to manage the contract set up due to the funds given from the CARES grant.
“I just want to make sure that the public is getting a very good value for the dollar being spent and that all the rules and regulations are being followed,” Marquez said.
Many members of the Idaho Falls community have already reached out to Marquez and the city and expressed their excitement and readiness to take a ride.
“Many of the people who have reached out already have a need-based on their mobility. These are individuals with wheelchairs and with disabilities that don’t have a current good option to conduct their business within the city,” Marquez said.
There are also people who are seeking out ways to ease the vehicle congestion in the city and also just individuals who just don’t want to worry about finding a parking spot or the weather conditions.
“The most important thing for people to know is that it is available for everyone. Every person within the city limits will be able to have access to this service. They will all be able to schedule a clean, safe, customer-oriented ride and will be able to get to their destination safely and without the stress of having to worry about a parking spot, worry about the traffic, or worry about the weather,” Marquez said.
The current timeline of when this ride share service will officially start is still undetermined.