Valley Regional Transit History
In 1994, state legislators passed a law giving citizens the opportunity to vote on the formation of public transportation authorities. Ada and Canyon county voters recognized the need and approved the formation of a Regional Public Transit Authority (RPTA) in each of their respective counties in 1998.
The Treasure Valley Regional Public Transportation Authority (TVRPTA) was formed on January 21, 1999, when the Boards of the Ada and Canyon County RPTA’s met and formally voted to merge the two organizations. To communicate the role of the new organization, the name ViaTrans was adopted. This name was later changed to ValleyRide as part of a communications initiative to build greater consumer awareness of the service offerings. In 2004, the existing naming convention was refined with the adoption of Valley Regional Transit (VRT) to differentiate between the entity responsible for public transportation planning and services – existing and proposed – operating under the ValleyRide name.
The Valley Regional Transit Board of Directors consists of 29 positions from incorporated cities, counties, and highway districts in Ada and Canyon counties, which includes one representative from each of the following: Boise State University, College of Western Idaho, Capital City Development Corporation (CCDC), Meridian Development Corporation, and Idaho Transportation Department (ex-officio).
When voters approved the formation of a regional public transportation authority, the new state code did not provide a funding source to pay for public transportation services. VRT continues to be supportive of a dedicated funding source for public transportation, which is the next step toward making a regional public transportation system a reality.
Valley Regional Transit owns the public bus system that provides service in Boise/Garden City and contracts with a private firm to manage its operations. VRT also contracts for transit services in Nampa/Caldwell and between Ada County and Canyon County. All of these bus services are operated under the name ValleyRide.
Comprehensive short-term and long-term planning is being completed, detailing what VRT must do to meet the transportation needs in the Treasure Valley. Operating and capital resources that will be necessary to maintain and expand services on a regional basis are being explored.
VRT completed one of its short-term planning efforts – a Five-Year Strategic Plan, which was adopted in December 2002. This plan defined a course that led to effective and efficient public transportation services throughout the Treasure Valley. The plan was formed using the input of key stakeholders and community-focus groups, and included the vision, mission, priorities, and implementation strategies that guided the organization though September of 2008. An update to the Strategic Plan was approved by the VRT Board on July 16, 2008. This plan guided the organization through FY2010. A second update was approved by the VRT Board on January 20, 2010, which guided the organization through fiscal years 2011 and 2012. The update for FY2013-2018 was approved July 18, 2012. A two-year update to the FY2013-2018 plan was approved January 21, 2015.
VRT’s new six year capital and service plan called ValleyConnect 2.0 went out for public outreach and comment in February and March 2018 and was approved by the VRT Board of Directors in early April 2018. The plan was being coordinated with the COMPASS Communities in Motion update and reflects the region’s goals and objectives for public transit. ValleyConnect 2.0 will guide future VRT activities and be used to help coordinate VRT activities with our stakeholders.