Is It Time For Transit In The Boise Valley?

The Treasure Valley metro area, centered around Boise, Idaho, is the latest region to explore the ideal of rail transit, with officials looking to Salt Lake City as a model.

"Public. Transit. System. Three little words with big implications for the Treasure Valley (Southwest Idaho).

As the population across the area continues to explode, placing increasing stress on an already-packed road system, the idea of creating a viable valley-wide transit system has gained momentum. While the concept has growing support, it also faces many challengers who pose a very familiar and very powerful argument: Who is going to pay for it?

"It's not the transportation plan, it's the funding that's the heart of the whole issue," said Nancy Vannorsdel, executive director of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Funding has continued to be a sticking point for those seeking to create a transit system. A bill allowing local governments to go to taxpayers asking for a local-option sales tax to fund transit failed to make it out of committee during the last legislative session by three votes.

But transit supporters are hoping that seeing a working example of a transit system up and running in another Western city will start changing some minds.

The Chamber of Commerce sponsored a trip to Salt Lake City recently, in an effort to kick-start an educational campaign of sorts. Among the 15-member group were two valley mayors, three state senators, four representatives (including two who voted against the afore-mentioned committee bill) and staff from the chamber and Valley Regional Transit."

Thanks to Jon Cecil

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