Transit Center Heads Underground

If Valley Regional Transit and Capital City Development Corp. (CCDC) get their way, Boise’s highest and lowest structures will be at the same downtown intersection of 8th and Main.

That is the latest planned location for a “multi model transportation center,” but this time they are looking at hiding the bus station underground diagonally across the street from the new mirrored Zion’s Bank tower.
Public city bus with a front bicycle rack in Boise, Idaho, USA.
This latest attempt at a transit center comes after sites at 11 and Idaho, 8th and Jefferson and others were scuttled for various political reasons including opposition from the Idaho land board.

VRT sent out requests for qualification and proposals and GUARDIAN sources say there was only a single response. The GUARDIAN speculates the Gardner Company is the only outfit with the financial wherewithal to put together a transit center.

Based on what we have been able to piece together it appears the location includes a small surface parking lot adjacent to the Center on The Grove along Main Street. It is also midway between Gardner’s two prized downtown properties–US Bank and Zions Bank.

The location is actually the same (below?) as the current bus transfer point. Our only concern is how much public money will go into the project and how much of it will benefit the private developer.

One caution for all concerned is to not rush forward without public support. Mayor Dave Bieter has relentlessly pushed for a trolley system ranging from a downtown “circulator” to a system with routes to BSU and even the airport. No doubt Federal transportation funds secured by Senior Sen. Mike years ago are about to expire, so there will be some “use it or lose it” urgency.

Coincidentally the Ada County Highway District is set to hear a presentation Wednesday at 10 a.m. from Gardner. The firm will share its vision for downtown and discuss transportation issues with the five member ACHD board.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. For the life of me, I cannot imagine how this little parking lot location could possibly be big enough for a bus depot. It just seems like a nutty idea.

  2. The Speckled Hen
    Dec 4, 2013, 7:31 am

    This is a 1970s model of thinking. Underground or covered transit centers like this were 86ed 20 years ago because they are dark, dank, horrible places that are not appealing to riders who are not beholden to the bus. Horrible idea.

  3. Don’t Chinese opium smokers still inhabit the area directly underneath that part of downtown?

    JamesBond: “Nutty idea.”
    The Speckled Hen: “Horrible idea.”
    Bikeboy: “Nutty, horrible idea.”

  4. Work on getting a functional transit system first, then work on a transit hub.

    The bus service here is a joke, it doesn’t get you anywhere but the mall and downtown. and maybe BSU and CWI. Outside of that, it’s useless.

  5. Sheltered from the outside elements the homeless will flock there. Being federally funded it is required to be available to all and the city will be near powerless to trespass the homeless who choose to “live” there. ACLU will be drooling at the chance to sue the City or VRT when they trespass the homeless.

    With the homeless community living under the 8th street plaza, I do not look forward to the Live after 5, Saturday market and First Thursday events down there. Why do we want to invite more homeless people to downtown Boise by providing them these amenities?

  6. Take the bus to the mall?
    I think I could walk there faster and certainly bike there faster.


    Of course Gardner would like to do it. They’ll get the millions.

  7. Rod in SE Boise
    Dec 4, 2013, 9:16 pm

    Boise simply is not populated enough to support anything more than the modest bus system we already have.

  8. All we need now is a core criminal element to hangout on the buses and bus stops. Go TeamDave go!

  9. The new guy running for Governor so he can divert more business-welfare money into Downtown and his businesses/friends? I think we’ll see TeamDave give him lots of face time.

  10. Horrible idea is an understatement.

    1) It’s too small
    2) Future expansion difficult/impossible
    3) Access from Capitol? Think about that. Buses from west will be on Myrtle, turn left, and clog up already clogged block between Front and Myrtle.

    13th and Front area is the only realistic option.

  11. Ookmon, the bus system is a joke because few want to use it. We have a decent road system with virtually no traffic problems. We have an economy which allows most to afford a car. We don’t have the population density to support a bus system.

    Buses are an outdated idea. Self driving cars will soon be a reality. We should be looking into a fleet of self driving cars which could be dispatched on demand and travel point to point for their users.

    Think I’m nuts? Nevada has legalized autonomous cars and FL and CA have made them very close to legal.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: