There have been endless meetings, endless surveys, and endless chatter about “mass transit” in the valley. Now the cities are proposing a local option tax (probably a sales tax) to fund both highways and public transit.
The legislature needs to exercise plenty of caution on this one. The GUARDIAN posted a plan for an “above ground subway” system with a grid system of routes. GUARDIAN SOLVES BUS WOES .
We got absolutely no comment or interest from anyone in government, despite 17 mostly supportive comments.
Team Dave and others are consumed with their desire for a train. We think good roads with buses running on them will do a lot to ease traffic congestion. Before they get too carried away with mass transit plans, we offer this challenge: GIVE FREE BUS PASSES TO ALL CITY EMPLOYEES. There are several HUNDRED who drive taxpayer-owned vehicles to and from work daily. Let’s see you put half of them on the bus.
The personal car policy was to be evaluated a year ago, but no results have been announced. We simply fail to believe there are more than 200 employees who are so important to public safety they need a taxpayer funded personal car.
After a detective caused a traffic accident responding well after the fact to an officer involved shooting the chief officially put strict limits on the “code three” use of lights and sirens without authorization from commanders or dispatch.
Team Dave needs to set an example and cut down on use of city vehicles before they can try to implement a tax for mass transit that may never be used. An alternative to the bus routes we previously suggested would be commuter vans like those operated by ACHD.
The GUARDIAN “van plan” would put 100 brightly colored (hot PINK?) vans on the city streets for an initial investment of $3 million to be operated by anyone with a good driving record. Let them go to and from work, to the mall, whatever. Basic rules are they must be city residents and they MUST pick up anyone wishing to ride. Driver need not deviate more than a few blocks from his planned route. We had such a policy in Vietnam and it worked like a dream–any American GI could flag down any military vehicle for a ride regardless of rank of either driver or rider.
Why not allow people to ride in Boise City police cars, parks department, building department and public works vehicles etc.? Most city vehicles have a single occupant. The point is this: If you REALLY want to cut down on traffic and pollution try some “outside the box” ideas before strapping on eternal debt and taxes.
We could support the local option tax if it included versions of our proposals. We can NOT support light rail or trains which are limited to tracks and demand many many cars and locomotives to provide any frequency of service. In short, we don’t trust the judgement of local officials and doubt the legislature will either.
Even if the legislature passes a local option tax, we citizens have to approve whatever OPTION local government proposes. Since it will no doubt go toward long term debt, any proposal must get a 2/3 majority of the voters to approve it.
City workers can indeed ride the bus for free. We have asked for any record or estimate of how many actually take advantage of the perk. Our point as one commenter said is to stimulate thoughts on the subject and get the city to use the system they want citizens to use.
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