Our transportation consultant has provided some insight into the operation and success–or lack thereof–at Valley Ride, the regional bus system.
By Jimmy D. Bus
With planners screaming for “increased density” and repeating the mantra “we have to get people out of their cars,” I harken back to the days when Boise’s BUS system had better service than today.
Here are some startling examples I gleaned from a recent release of data from Valley Ride:
–2015 ridership (Boise only): 1.1 million trips (Source: VRT)
–1981 ridership (Boise only): 1.1 million trips (Source: VRT)
–Boise Population 2010 – about 200,000 (Source: US Census)
–Boise Population 1980 – about 100,000 (Source: US Census)
Passenger Fare Recovery:
2015 – about 12% (Source: NTD)
1981 – about 23% (known fact)
Trips per capita:
2015 – 5
1981 – 10
The current system relies on various employer contracts to generate ridership. BSU, Boise Schools, St Lukes, St Als, etc. The 1981 system did not use “employer contracts” to generate ridership. In fact, BSU declined to “partner” with BUS back then. People rode, and ridership increased, because the system worked.
Today, Boise’s ridership trend is downward even with new routes in the last couple of years like Harris Ranch and the route that goes by Overland Walmart. 2015 4th Quarter (July-Sep) on time performance (within 5 minutes of schedule) – Boise 83% (Source: VRT)
Alaska had a “bridge to nowhere” and Boise will soon have a “transit center for no one.” OK, maybe for few.
EDITOR NOTE–Things haven’t changed much in eight years. This from the ARCHIVE.
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