FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Contact: Mike Journee
208-384-4402 | mjournee@cityofboise.org

City of Boise wins federal transit alternatives analysis grant

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced that the City of Boise has been awarded a $375,000 grant to fund an alternatives analysis study to determine the best parameters for a downtown circulator system.

The study will investigate the best routes for a circulator system connecting Boise’s downtown core with adjacent neighborhoods, the preferred mode of transportation to use, and how a circulator could best connect with and move within the Boise State University campus.

“This is the piece we were missing in 2008 when we first proposed a streetcar project,” Mayor Bieter said. “The City is committed to doing its part to create a comprehensive transportation system for the Boise Valley, including commuter rail, improved bus service and a downtown circulator. This alternatives analysis will get us one step closer to that goal.”

“Boise’s future economic success depends on us taking the proper steps to ensure we have the transportation system we need going forward,” Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bill Connors said. “This alternatives analysis is one of those key steps. The cities that have failed to do so have paid a high economic price as they struggle to build transportation infrastructure long after it becomes needed.”

“The University supports strengthening transit links to downtown for our students, faculty and staff,” Boise State University Associate Vice President for Campus Planning and Facilities James Maguire said. “We participated in the earlier Streetcar task force and look forward to working with the city in exploring the options under this grant.  ”

The grant is part of $928.5 million in federal funds awarded to 300 public transportation projects in urban, suburban and rural areas across the country. The grants are made available through the Federal Transit Administration’s fiscal year 2011 Alternatives Analysis, Bus Livability, and State of Good Repair Programs and will go toward replacing or refurbishing aging buses; building or improving bus terminals, garages, and other transit facilities; installing bus-related equipment; and conducting studies to help communities select the best transit options to meet future transportation needs.

The grant selection process was highly competitive. FTA reviewed 839 project applications representing $4.9 billion in funding requests from transit providers across the country for the Fiscal Year 2011 discretionary grants.

The study will be supervised by the City’s Public Works Department and performed by an engineering firm selected through a competitive procurement process. Valley Regional Transit, COMPASS and the Capital City Redevelopment Agency will participate in the study.