ValleyConnect 2.0

ValleyConnect 2.0 - an overview

What is ValleyConnect 2.0?
   ValleyConnect 2.0 is an update to Valley Regional Transit’s ValleyConnect plan. It expands on the vision of a public transportation system that offers numerous options to travel around the region (Ada County and Canyon County). It is Valley Regional Transit’s response to the need to accommodate both current transportation needs and future growth.

   This summary provides an overview of the plan. A final draft of the plan is current available for review (access it HERE or by using the link to the right). Once you finish your review of the plan, we ask you to complete a SHORT ONLINE SURVEY.

Why is ValleyConnect 2.0 important to the region’s future?

   The growth our region is experiencing is putting significant pressure on infrastructure across the region.  Roadways and freeways are becoming more congested.  These changes are having real impacts on people and the way they enjoy their community.  As one would-be transit rider put it; “Now is the time for Valley Regional Transit to step up and provide a solution.  Comprehensive public transportation makes sense.”

What services are planned for our region?

   The existing ValleyRide bus system consists of 21 fixed routes in Boise, three fixed routes in Nampa/Caldwell and six inter county routes between Ada and Canyon counties. All services operate Monday through Friday. There is limited Boise bus service (eight routes) that operate on Saturday. The weekday hours of operation are approximately 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (three Boise routes operate until approximately 9:30 p.m.).
   ValleyConnect 2.0 offers an expansion of services that would allow residents of Ada and Canyon counties to maintain the freedom to move even while the region continues to add more jobs, people and opportunities. Highlights of the service expansion under ValleyConnect 2.0 include:

  • Increase the number of jobs and households with access to transit: Connect Meridian, Kuna, Eagle,    Nampa, Caldwell, Parma and Wilder.
  • Increase the amount of transit service by a multiple of four. (There are currently approximately 100,000 annual service hours.)
  • Create a grid of frequent reliable transit: Nine (9) frequent routes across Ada County and Canyon County – 15 minutes all day service until 9:00 p.m. or later. (There are currently no frequent services.)
  • Create a grid of congestion-free transit services: Over 100 of miles of premium service (There are currently no premium services. State Street would be the first. ValleyConnect 2.0 would also add Fairview, Vista, Overland, Chinden, Curtis, Nampa Caldwell Boulevard, and 16th Ave/Garrity.)
  • Increase the hours of operation: Most all-day services (almost 70%) have service until 9:00 p.m., eight (8) routes run seven (7) days a week. (That would be 15 routes that run until 9:00 p.m. or later.  Currently, there are only three. Increase transit use:  Target ridership increase – 800% to between 10-12 million annual boardings (Today we have approximately 1.2 million.)
  • Deploy “Mobility as a Service”:  Expand the reach of fixed-route transit by integrating all travel options, including bus, bike and car share, ride hailing, etc. into a single, easy to use approach.

What is the cost of improving transit in our region?

   The population of Ada and Canyon counties is expected to grow from 670,00 now to more than one million in 2040. There is a widening gap between existing transit services and what improvements are needed to keep up with growth in the valley. The plan explores the transit activities that VRT would take if additional funding were available in the following fixed-route scenarios:

Scenario

Est. Fixed Route   Operating Dollars

Est. Annual Fixed Route Service Hours

Est. Total Capital Costs

Current

$10,000,000

100,000

$15,000,000

Intermediate Scenario

$20,000,000

200,000

$98,000,000*

Growth Scenario

$40,000,000

400,000

$191,000,000*

*Includes $23M in deferred maintenance on existing network


How so we compare with other regions?

   Although ValleyConnect 2.0 is a plan of aggressive transit growth in the Treasure Valley, the growth scenario is a conservative estimate for the amount of public transportation service that the public is asking for. 

   The table below shows that compared to our peers the Treasure Valley invests less than one-fifth of the average of our peers in transit operations per capita.  By quadrupling the amount of service in the Treasure Valley we will begin investing in transit operations at a scale more on par with our peers.

Transit Peer Comparison: 2014 National Transit Database

Transit Agency

Service Area Population

Total Operating Expenses

Annual Operating Cost/Capita

Valley Regional Transit

349,684

$9,624,981

$27.52

Spokane Transit Authority (WA)

409,271

$59,413,530

$145.17

Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (Reno NV)

327,768

$31,429,617

$95.89

City of Tucson (AZ)

544,000

$74,107,836

$136.23

Metro Transit System (Madison, WI)

253,075

$54,088,838

$213.73

Average of Peers

383,529

$54,759,955

$142.78

How can I provide comment?
  
   We have posted an online survey that is collecting public comment on the draft Valleyconnect 2.0 plan. Please take a few minutes to provide comment (the deadline is Thursday, March 15).

ACCESS THE VALLEYCONNECT 2.0 SURVEY

DOWNLOAD THE FINAL DRAFT OF THE PLAN.

 

ACCESS THE VALLEYCONNECT 2.0 SURVEY

DOWNLOAD THE FINAL DRAFT OF THE PLAN

Attend an outreach event to learn more about ValleyConnect 2.0

We have scheduled numerous community presentations and  stakeholder meetings to talk about the ValleyConnect 2.0 plan and to gather comment. Please consider attending one of these meetings.

Download the public outreach schedule