Public hearing on Valley Regional Transit funding

Posted at 5:08 AM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 07:08:22-05

On February 11, the Boise City Council will hold a public hearing to consider the amount of funding that they will provide for fiscal year 2020 to Valley Regional Transit (VRT), the regional public transportation provider.

In a proposal brought forward by City Council President Elaine Clegg as part of the fiscal year 2020 budget discussions, the city set a goal of funding VRT with at least 5 percent of property tax receipts. This percentage amount includes both operating costs and the capital contribution. Under the agreement with VRT, the city is required to hold a work session discussion (held on February 4, 2020) and a public hearing every year to examine where that 5 percent funding is allocated and consider any increase or decrease in funding.

If there are no limits put on property tax at the legislative level and the council chose to continue at the current 5% of property tax, the city contribution to VRT for FY2021 would be approximately $8.7 million. The council is asking people to attend the public hearing and let them know if 5% is adequate or if the council should consider increases to upgrade the existing network.

“We are asking our citizens to tell us what their priorities are for the system,” said Boise City Council President Elaine Clegg. “What can we do to make the current network perform better so that more of our residents can get where they need to go without getting in their cars for every trip, and do you support those improvements even if they cost more?”

Among the options that are before the public and the council for consideration are:

  • extending service to 9:30 PM on weekdays
  • adding service on Sundays on select routes
  • funding amenities at stops
  • implementing strategies that help ensure on-time performance.

In addition to the public hearing, VRT and the city are launching an online survey that will give those unable to attend the meeting a chance to give their feedback on these topics.

The public hearing will be held on Tuesday, February 11, at 6PM in the Maryanne Jordan Boise City Council Chambers on the 3rd floor of Boise City Hall.