Routes 2, 3, 4: The stop at the airport has moved to the general public traffic lanes on the lower loop of Airport Way. The stop is located from pillar 14 to pillar 17 at the end of the arrivals pick up lanes
VRT Executive Director to retire after 22 years, leaves a legacy
Kelli Badesheim, executive director at Valley Regional Transit, is retiring after 22 years with the agency. Badesheim started as interim director in November 2000 and assumed the executive director role in August 2001, effectively leading the agency from its inception. Her last day will be February 10, 2023, but she will continue to advise this spring and assist with the leadership transition.
VRT experienced monumental growth under Badesheim’s leadership, including:
- A focus on integrated mobility, which pushes toward a seamless transportation experience, regardless of travel mode
- The growth of VRT’s current bus system, which is also supported by on-demand transit services, specialized transportation services for unique needs, and more
- The expansion of service throughout the region, including movement toward premium levels of service and amenities on critical transportation corridors
- The launch of innovative transportation services, such as Lyft Transit Connection, which provides a discounted Lyft ride to many VRT bus stops, and VRT OnDemand, which allows riders to book rides when they need them
- The implementation of specialized transportation services that focus on access to jobs (Village Van and VRT Late Night), healthcare (Rides2Wellness in Ada and Canyon Counties), access for seniors, a vehicle sharing program to provide support senior center transportation, and more
- The stewardship of supportive transportation programs, including City Go, which provides transportation demand management resources and employer pass programs, and Safe Routes to School, which encourages students to walk and bike to school to promote a healthy lifestyle, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and enhance quality of life in our communities
- The adoption of new technology, such as real-time bus tracking to improve the rider experience, automatic passenger counters to enhance data-focused decision-making, and encouraging statewide transportation agencies to publish data to facilitate better trip planning and public information
- The coordination of community partnerships with cities and highway districts to pull together shared funding and pave the way for fixed bus stops and transit infrastructure in the public right of way
- The building of coalitions with regional leaders, elected officials, community partners, and the VRT Board of Directors, Executive Board, and Regional Advisory Council
- A push toward greater customer support, including the development of a customer service center to help the traveling public find the right service for their needs, as well as mobility navigation programs to provide training and support community partners
- The development of major transit facilities, such as the planning and construction of Main Street Station, which moved a downtown transit mall to a full-service underground station; an administrative and maintenance facility in Canyon County at the Happy Day Transit Center; a robust charging station at the Orchard Maintenance facility to charge VRT’s growing electric bus fleet; and administrative offices in downtown Meridian
Badesheim started her transit career in 1994 at Boise Urban Stages, a precursor agency to VRT which provided transportation within the City of Boise. After residents voted for a regional transit system, she led the creation and development of the Treasure Valley Regional Transportation Authority in 2000. The agency worked as ViaTrans and ValleyRide before adopting the Valley Regional Transit name, which it is known as today.
In 2005, Badesheim oversaw the transition from a collection of local services into a regional system, which resulted in a total system restructure. VRT began implementing a variety of specialized transportation services in 2015 to address specific needs not fulfilled by traditional transit. In 2018, VRT’s Board of Directors adopted the ValleyConnect 2.0 plan, which outlines VRT’s vision for the future and guides new agency projects.
Badesheim exemplifies a true public servant. Throughout her career, she has worked tirelessly to build the VRT service we know today in the midst of a challenging climate with limited funding. Her leadership has helped advance the agency’s goal of connecting people to places and creating a better community, and her work has prepared a solid foundation and ambitious direction for the next generation of public transit in the Treasure Valley.