The Valley Regional Transit spent months gathering public input for a redesign of its bus service, and now it’s ready to make changes. In a nutshell, the updates will include more buses and a change to several routes. But what does that mean for bus riders?
Given the operating costs and limited funding, VRT originally planned service cuts, but as the planning process unfolded they realized there was opportunity for increased service — a 14% increase in overall service, to be exact.
“The overall coverage area is declining a little bit, but there are going to be faster services on more routes than there are today. They hope that will actually mean that more people are gonna be riding the bus.”
While some residents might end up further from a bus stop, VRT data says the number of people within a quarter mile from 15-minute bus service will increase by 34%, and the number of people within a quarter mile of 30-minute service will double.
VRT’s partnership with the ride-hailing app Lyft will allow some residents within two miles of a bus stop to call a ride to or from that bus stop for $2. Residents in Canyon County and Eagle County can also use the VRT On Demand app to book a ride near your origin and destination.
Along with service updates, VRT is also planning to upgrade physical bus stops to include things like screens with live route schedules to improve the riding experience.
Listen to our interview with Idaho Statesman reporter Ian Max Stevenson for more on how the changes will affect bus riders.