Boise considers more public transit options

The city will hold an open house next Tuesday to discuss options.

BOISE - For more than a decade, Boise city leaders have been talking about bringing in new public transportation options including a downtown circulator to connect major destinations in the area.

Some critics have called that idea "the trolley folly," or "the desire named streetcar," arguing that it's too expensive and not necessary.

But the details are still up in the air.

And the city is asking citizens to take a closer look at the proposal.

Right now the city has a route in mind, and that's about it.

There's still no word on if the circulator will be a streetcar or a bus.

To provide an update on the plans, and to gather more public comment, an open house is coming up next Tuesday.

Mike Journee, a spokesman for the mayor, says having a mass transit tool like the circulator is something Boise needs as it continues to grow.

"Everyone sees what's been happening in downtown Boise in recent years and they understand that over time we're running out of room for building more lanes, we’re running out of room for building more parking spaces," said Journee.

That's why Journee says people need new transportation options for moving around the city and within the downtown area.

One of the ways the city would do that would be with a circulator.

"This is very specific to downtown this would be something that someone could wait for for a few minutes at a stop and hop on and take them to a very specific place downtown," he said.

In October, the city completed a five-year-long alternatives analysis of how the circulator would work.

"We've had a long process," said Journee.

An 18-member committee made up of business and community leaders, explored different transportation options, including routes and modes.

The committee's recommendation is the implementation of a fixed, T-shaped route, that would go through the downtown area and south to Boise State University.

The circulator would run north and south along 9th Street and Capitol Boulevard, and east and west along Idaho and Main streets.

"Come into downtown, park once, be able to get from St. Luke’s back down to the west end, and do so quickly and conveniently," said Journee.

Journee says providing that type of transportation option is something that is essential in other cities.

"As Boise grows it's going to continue to need more of these options and that what this is about, it's about the future and the kind of downtown and city that we want to be," said Journee.

Journee says this is still in the early stages, so there are still a lot of questions about funding, fares and implementation.

The hope is to be able to take this analysis to the mayor and city council for their recommendations.

The city is holding an open house next Tuesday at City Hall from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

 

City of Boise Circulator Proposal by KTVB7 on Scribd

 

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