The Treasure Valley is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years and when the brand new public transportation hub in downtown Boise opens, it will be easier to walk and bike around.
Linda Marie Hilton has lived in Boise for the last 18 years. She's always walked or biked everywhere she goes.
After taking a tour of the new Main Street Station during an open house event Thursday, Hilton says she's impressed and can't wait for opening day.
"This will be nice in bad weather. It is much safer for everybody to have the busses kind of corralled here," she said.
A transportation hub did not exist until now.
"It's taking a 4-block area and really condensing it down to one spot here," explained Mark Carnopis, Valley Regional Transit community relations manager.
People entering through the main doors in the 700 block of Main Street can either take the elevator down or use the stairs. Bicyclists too have the freedom to take either route thanks to a set of "bike channels" on the sides of the stairwell. It's recommended you use your brakes. But, the elevator is big enough for a bike to fit as well.
With plenty of features to note like the public restrooms, a bike storage area (fees apply), along with a bike repair station and a Boise Police satellite office, perhaps, the customer service windows will be most helpful in transitioning to the new, underground system.
Monitors are even set up so you can track your bus route.
"We have very vibrant artwork down there. We just wanted to make it a showcase for downtown Boise with all these projects going on here," Carnopis said. "I think we stepped up and made it a really nice facility."
As for Hilton, she hopes the hub will inspire others to use the public transit system.
"It not only saves on gas, it gives you a real feeling of accomplishment that you don't have to make multiple trips in one day," Hilton said. "And, for busy people, it gives you more time."
You have two more opportunities to tour the new bus station before if officially opens on Monday, Oct. 24. Self-guided tours will be available on Thursday, Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Along with opening day, some of the drop off and pick up times will change. For more information, visit http://www.valleyride.org/service-changes .