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Twin Falls transit system could be here as soon as Spring 2023

Posted at 5:42 PM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 19:42:32-05

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The City of Twin Falls is working to implement a micro-transit system that could be up and running as soon as April 2023.

This system would be a ride share service similar to Uber and Lyft where you can schedule rides and it will be specific to the city of Twin Falls. Recently the city crossed the 50,000-population mark which by law requires a city to provide some for of transit to its resident.

A bus system was considered as an option but wouldn't be cost affective in the Magic Valley. "The reality is is something like that just isn't going to work in twin falls. In order to create the number of routes we would need and the frequency of routes, it would be unbelievably cost prohibitive," said Mandi Thompson, assistant to the city manager.

The city instead decided on a ride share system similar to the one Idaho Falls has implemented. Their micro-transit system averages close to 6,000 rides a month and soon Twin Falls could have a similar service available.

"We're solving for the problem of the individuals that are transit dependent. Those are people who don't have their own transportation either because they no longer can drive, maybe they are elderly, and they are trying to age in place in their own home, our population of residents that are disabled, there are individuals that don't have a car," said Thompson.

One major group that can benefit from the transit system is the elderly community. Currently, only one transit system in Twin Falls helps the elderly community getting to and from needed services. Interlink Volunteer Caregivers (IVC) took on many of the users of the most recent transit system Trans4 which ended operation in September.

Now IVC struggles to keep up with high demand and has to deny service for people with disabilities due to lack of volunteers. "We have been averaging on a monthly basis anywhere between 285 and 300 requests a month just for transportation," said Jeanette Roe, executive director of IVC.

This increase in demand has lead priority for certain patients in need of more important transportation to things like dialysis and cancer treatment while other needs are put lower on their list of care.

"Groceries are important but it's down the list and we have to works those in and you don't get a specific time to be able to do that, but these are all things that are really essential because if you can't get to these things, you're not going to be able to stay at home long," said Roe.

For more information on the upcoming transit system, click here.