Ride Share Worthy Of Masses

Ada County has the right idea launching a car pool clearing house using GIS mapping software and matching riders with drivers, but they offer it as a perk for county employees–forgetting the taxpayers who pay for the bills.
Like most government folks, they just need a little supervision. In a press release that managed to offer quotes from all three Commishes (two are running for re-election) they extolled the merits of ride sharing and disclosed that anyone who takes a van pool or rides the bus can get $32 a month.

While we certainly applaud the efforts of local government to ease the “pain at the pump” for their staffers, what about the rest of us?


Ada county needs to step up and offer the same clearing house for everyone in Ada County. With just a few tweaks the GUARDIAN thinks they could make their in house program work for anyone. Just use an on-line link at the existing county web site.

We are told it works like Google Maps, pinpointing addresses. In its simplest form all they need to do is ask people needing a ride or offering a ride to register with their e-mail address and a geographical designator. Contact is made via e-mail.

Seems like University bulletin boards used to be full of “NEED A RIDE” and “NEED RIDERS” messages all the time.

A step further would be to offer up to the taxpayers the same $32 van or bus incentive they are taking away from us for their own people.

Of course the big benefit to having a countywide ride share data base and clearing house would be eliminating any arguments for billion dollar choo-choo trains for Team Dave.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Maybe they should use the system that we already have in place – rideshareonline.com or 1-208-345-POOL (7665). Sponsored by, if you can believe it, Ada County Highway District!!!

  2. sam the sham
    Jul 18, 2008, 11:15 am

    could we all have permission to park on the sidewalks in front of our offices? According to the Boise Weekly, Butch’s chauffeur is allowed to park the Subaru on the sidewalk – without fear of tickets or towing – because of “security”.

    Yes, this has nothing to do with sharing a ride or catching a bus, rather not having much of a bus system to catch, but it does irk the city drivers.
    It’s beginning to feel as if I am living in an old anti-Soviet Union news reel where we are shown how the upper Party members get the best of everything while the poor masses starve…if they complain then it’s off to the goulog – only now it’s because you just may be a terrorist (new word for Red or Commie).

    ok, sorry about getting off topic. Go back to the roadways now.

  3. Remedial.mind
    Jul 18, 2008, 12:19 pm

    Dave, I got to ask, what carpool incentives do you provide your employees or is it just you? Before “taking it to the County” to support your transit needs, have you been to these websites:

    (the list continues)

    And since we are using logic that takes it “A step further […] to offer up to the taxpayers the same $32 van or bus incentive they are taking away from us for their own people”, lets just hand out the employee benefits package and 4-day work week to the rest of us Ada-ites while we are at it.

    I say, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander!


    EDITOR NOTE–Thanks for the websites. It looks like we bit on the county press release which seems to be telling us they have duplicated a bunch of efforts in an effort to be green. We like the idea, but it doesn’t appear to be new.

  4. Boise Whiskey Tango
    Jul 18, 2008, 1:59 pm

    I seem to remember that about the time RideShare Boards were most popular at institutions of “Higher” Learning, so was the Bumper Sticker:

    “Ass, Gas or Grass. Nobody Rides For Free!”

    Maybe that was just Jersey.

  5. I’d propose $15.00 a month for bike riders. No carbon, better health, more parking for cars, no air pollution. Heck, Ada county pays $25.00 to a Utah recycler to take away computer monitors here in the valley. Shouldn’t the purchaser pay for it up front when they buy the merchandise?

  6. Isn’t the point of riding the bus or carpooling for the person to save money on gas and vehicular wear and tear by doing so? So if that’s the case, why are taxpayers paying employees $32/month when they’re saving money on their own?

    Does everything require a bribe these days?

    EDITOR NOTE– Yes everything needs a bribe. How do you think we get businesses to move here?..we offer “incentives.”

  7. The only reason we have this transportation problem is that we are not using the roads as they were originally intended — not for cars, but for horses.

  8. I think the ACHD is correct in limiting this program to in-house until a cost-benefit analysis is done. By limiting the program to an internal matter they can work out the kinks and tweak it before having a major roll out and then having to re-nig on it later, causing external repercussions. Let’s wait and see how it works out on their guinea pigs first before committing a lot of money, or worse losing a lot of credibility if it fails after introduction in the private sector.

    And another link to consider is rideshare on Craigslist

  9. My vote is with the trolley system “light rail”. I believe even when the highway is widened, we will be left with a new problem on top of the problem we have now. The problem we have now is that the people coming into Boise for work, compound that with the rising gas/environment issues that are biting us in the butt.

    The problem is not a narrow out dated highway thats poorly maintained, the problem is the lack of action on the part of our elected officials. We are still going to have to pay for the widening sometime, just build a light rail system and we will all be better off for it. Government has become to big for its britches and needs to be made accountable for what it does.

  10. Got to agree about rail…once built, they are used while bus lines come and go and ridership dwindles.

  11. Everybody has forgotten about CCDC parking structures. With car pooling, greater use of mass tranist, it seems that CCDC will need additional revenue to pay for their parking structures since there will be less use. Most likey the taxpayers.
    Just like ITD and the feds needing to raise gas taxes since their revenue is down.

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