TRANSIT COALITION ARCHIVES

    The Treasure Valley's Coalition for Regional Public Transportation, formed in the fall of 2005, became part of the statewide Moving Idaho Forward Coalition in 2008. The local coalition voted at its January 8, 2008 meeting to expand the scope of the group beyond transit and its reach to include the rest of the state. The local group was folded into the Moving Idaho Forward Coalition, and three additional co-chairs were added from outside the Treasure Valley. Joining local co-chairs Chuck Winder, Mayor Garret Nancolas and Dan Stevens were former State Transportation Director Kermit Kiebert of Hope, Rexburg Mayor Shawn Larsen and Twin Falls Mayor Lance Clow. 
     The Coalition also approved the Regional Transportation Authority draft legislation that was introduced during the 2008 Idaho legislative session. This page contains archival material from the activities of the Coalition for Regional Public Transportation.
   (Please note that the Movie Idaho Forward Coalition is no longer in existence).


 

 HISTORY Minimize

   There is a growing awareness in the Treasure Valley business community that public transportation is an important component of both economic success and maintaining a high quality of life. A viable public transportation system provides residents with commuting alternatives, helps mitigate traffic congestion and contributes to a reduction in pollutants in the air.
   Though the efforts of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations in the region, the Coalition for Regional Public Transportation (CRPT) was formed in the fall of 2005.

   The goal of the CRPT was to develop
local funding options for regional public transportation with the leadership of Valley Regional Transit, enlist support from companies, business leaders, chambers of commerce, legislators and other interested community organizations and achieve passage of state legislation.
   The CRPT was initially divided into three groups:

  • The Leadership Group, which met twice - in November and December 2005. The group, co-chaired by developer Chuck Winder and Dan Stevens from Home Federal Bank, included dozens of chamber and business leaders and agency representatives.
  • The Local Elected Officials Group, which met for the first time on January 24, 2006. This group then combined with the leadership group at its February 17, 2006 meeting. Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas helps co-chair this combined group, called the Joint Leadership Group (to see a list of members, click HERE). This group, which met five times, kept busy exploring transportation funding alternatives and developing draft legislation that would allow ballot referendums seeking voter approval of a local transit tax.
    The Joint Leadership Group completed work on its final report and recommendations on October 27, 2006 (see 2007 Idaho Legislative Session section below).
  • The Community Resource Group - Representatives from various interest groups (such as the elderly and persons with disabilities) will be invited to attend four public information meetings designed to educate attendees about the importance of public transportation in the region, both now and in the future. This is the grass-roots segment of the Coalition and will become active in lobbying state legislators, local officials during the summer, fall and winter months.

   In the overall plan, transit providers statewide hoped to get legislation passed during the 2007 legislative session that would give regional public transportation authorities the ability to take a referendum to voters to approve a dedicated local funding source (sales tax) for public transportation. Idaho is one of just a few states that currently cannot do so. The legislation died in committee

    To learn more about projected growth in the Treasure Valley, the transit system plans of Valley Regional Transit, and specifics of the draft legislation, click on the first link under Reference Materials Summer 2006 section.

   There is a sense of urgency locally to get a local transit tax approved by voters. Under the current federal funding regulations, the amount of federal grant monies VRT can use to pay for operating costs is dropping. For FY 2006 (which ended Sept. 30, 2006) the amount was 50 percent. That percentage dropped to 25 percent for FY 2007(Oct. 1, 2006 - Sept. 30, 2007).  The amount dropped to zero beginning October 1, 2007.
   Why is this occurring? As an area grows, federal regulations on how grant dollars can be spent become more restrictive. Boise became a large urban area as a result of the 2000 Census (the clock on the funding restrictions did not begin until recently because of a long delay in passing a new federal highway bill, which includes funding for public transportation). VRT anticipates that after the 2010 Census, the Boise/Meridian/Nampa/Caldwell, etc. region will be one large urban area, which will affect federal funds for operations in Nampa/Caldwell.

 

THE 2007 IDAHO LEGISLATIVE SESSION

 

   After months of discussion and research, the Coalition approved a funding recommendation. Proposed legislation was drafted based on Coalition recommendations. These recommendations included: a simple majority needed for passage; providing for an RPTA to ask voters to approve a one-tenth and one-half of one percent sales tax increase in an initial ballot request; setting a total funding cap of three-quarters of one percent sales tax; any tax for public transit would sunset after 20 years (or until bond obligations are paid off), unless an extension is approved by voters; and citizens could vote on the funding request during the general election of even-numbered years (to ensure a strong voter turnout).

   Those "sideboards" to the draft legislation were modified based in large part to further discussions with state legislators. The simple majority requirement for passage became a two-thirds supermajority. Also, the RPTAs could get the proposal on the ballot in May and October of any year.

    A print hearing for the proposed legislation was held Feb. 27 before the House Revenue & Taxation Committee. The committee voted to print House Bill 246.

    The committee scheduled a merit hearing on HB 246 on March 6, 2007. So many people signed up to testify that committee Chairman Dennis Lake allowed the hearing to continue into a second day. Despite overwhelming testimony in favor of the proposed legislation, the committee voted to keep the bill in committee, thereby killing it for the session.



  

NOVEMBER 29, 2007
Meeting Packet
Meeting Notes

OCTOBER 5, 2007
Agenda
Meeting Notes

APRIL 27, 2007
Agenda
Meeting Notes
JANUARY 26, 2006 (ELECTED OFFICIALS)
Agenda
History of Public Transportation in Idaho

DECEMBER 19, 2005 (LEADERSHIP)
Agenda
Three Meeting Outline
Regional System
Peer City Review
Coalition Organizational Structure
Icebreaker Question
Primer on Federal Funding
Federal Funding Dollars
Public Transportation Surveys
Who Uses Transit
Meeting Notes

NOVEMBER 28, 2005 (LEADERSHIP)
Agenda
Purpose and Membership

Meetings Outline

Transit Background (PowerPoint converted to a pdf)
COMPASS Presentation
VRT Background (PowerPoint converted to a pdf)
Meeting Notes

OCTOBER 27, 2006
Agenda
Meeting Notes

REFERENCE MATERIALS - SUMMER 2006
Findings and Recommendations
VRT six-year build-out plan description

Map of six-year plan
Q&A about the Coalition and the proposed legislation
At a glance sheet about the proposed legislation
RS of the proposed legislation
RS statement of purpose and fiscal impact

MAY 19, 2006
Agenda
Q&A Local Option Transit Funding
Outreach Plan
Meeting Notes

APRIL 17, 2006
Agenda
Meeting Notes
MARCH 10, 2006
Agenda
Fact Sheet: Peer Systems Review
Fact Sheet: Toll Roads
Fact Sheet: Congestion Tax
Fact Sheet: High Occupancy Toll Lanes
Meeting Notes
FEBRUARY 17, 2006
Agenda
Meeting Schedule
Meetings Summary
Public Transportation Funding Options
Potential Funding Mechanisms
National Funding Sources for Public Transportation
Local Transit Surveys/Research
Projected Revenue from Local Tax Options
History of Public Transportation in Idaho
Meeting Notes

 2008 DRAFT LEGISLATION Minimize

    A second draft of legislation that will be introduced during the 2008 Idaho Legislative Session has been completed. Coalition for Regional Public Transportation members voiced support for the draft legislation at its Oct. 5 meeting.
    
The draft legislation, called the Regional Transportation Act, would replace the existing Regional Public Transportation Authority Act.
    The latest version of the legislation is the work of a drafting committee chaired by political consultant Roy Eiguren. The committee was composed of representatives from the Coalition for Regional Public Transportation (AIC) the Idaho Association of Counties (IAC) and the Idaho Highway Districts Association. The second draft reflects input from more than 80 separate organizations and individuals, including the Office of the Governor, and more than 70 state legislators.
    Prior to its finalization, the draft legislation must be approved by the Coalition and the governing bodies of the AIC, IAC and the Idaho Highway Districts Association. Those approvals are expected by mid-January 2008.

To review a copy of the legislation, click HERE.
To review a one-page summary sheet of the legislation, click HERE.


  

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