Elaine Clegg talks about transition from Boise City Council to Valley Regional Transit

Clegg served on city council close to 19 years
Posted at 4:15 PM, Jan 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-13 18:15:34-05

The Boise city council is losing it's longest serving member.
Elaine Clegg is taking over Valley Regional Transit in the midst of massive change -- both politically and in terms of growth.

Clegg says she has a passion for busses, "We went everywhere on the bus. I loved it. It was freedom."

Looking back on her close to 19 years as a Boise city councilor, she says she's proud of the work she's done. "Boise is my hometown," says Clegg, "and I love it love doing this work. I think that I've been effective."

But, she says it's time for a change, "Whenever you have change it's new energy, new ideas, people get excited again and that will be a good thing for everyone."

She's taking over Valley Regional Transit at a time when our roads are more clogged than ever. She says she'll take a few months to listen to the public about needed changes.
"It has to be easy to use, intuitive to use it and it has to be fun," says Clegg. No small task, but she's trying to think outside the box for possibilities. "You could have food trucks and if you have a ticket you get free food." Theorizes Clegg.

And she has high hopes to connect busses with commuter rail some day. But, Clegg says a big challenge is getting the state on board. "How do we work with the state to help them understand that if we can do this we can actually save them money," says Clegg, "because they're not going to be able to build a freeway big enough."

The busses are clean inside and out running on electricity or hydrogen. The transit just needs more of them to serve the community. And to do that you need more people to ride. "They think they don't like it because they've never tried it," explains Clegg, "Because it seems their perception is against that."

If she can change those perceptions, Clegg may be able to impact her home town almost as much as she did during her years on the council.