Delegations, a D3 report and money for airports lead board discussion
at June meeting

Visits by public transportation delegations, an annual report on District 3 activities and a budget for the Idaho Airport Aid Program highlighted transportation board activities during its June 18-19 monthly meeting in Boise.

Several delegations addressed the board at its meeting on June 19 in District 3. Valley Regional Transit (VRT) and Ada County Highway District Commuteride representatives reported on the services they provide.

VRT provides regional transit services with a focus on efficiency and coordination. Its priorities and goals are to secure stable funding and expand the public understanding of the benefits of a regional public transportation system. Some of its recent accomplishments include better coordination of public transit services and the completion of bus stop improvements and two park-and-ride lots. It is also preparing to break ground on Boise’s new downtown mobility center.

The Commuteride Program was started more than 35 years ago as a way to reduce traffic and save people money on gas. Today the program serves the workforce by providing transportation options for commuters, including vanpools, ride-matching service, and park-and-ride lots. The majority of its funding is derived from fares followed by federal aid and Ada County Highway District funds.

District 3 Report
The annual report on District 3’s accomplishments and performance measures was presented. The winter mobility goal – which measures the percent of time highways are clear of snow and ice during winter storms – was exceeded. The goal is 55 percent, but the district achieved 66 percent of the time.

It missed the goal of effectiveness of winter chemical treatments, but it hopes to improve on this metric through an August training session with Headquarters’ staff, including learning best practices from other areas.  District 3’s achievement of 99 percent led the department in the metric to deliver winter road reports on time. Some of the other performance measures include 78 percent of the district’s pavements are in fair condition, falling just short of the goal of 81 percent, and 71 percent of the bridges are in good condition, which is below the goal of 80 percent.

It also was noted that the district issued 387 total permits in FY13. In comparison, the five other districts processed a total of 541.

Idaho Airport Aid Program
The board approved the state fiscal year 2015 Idaho Airport Aid Program. This year’s budget is $765,000, which is 61 percent more than last year, mainly due to the aircraft registration fee increase. Projects in the proposed Idaho Airport Aid Program were selected based on the Prioritization and Allocation Methodology. The Aeronautics Advisory Board approved the FY15 program last month.

All seven of the state’s commercial airports have projects in the program. Some of those improvements include an apron expansion at Idaho Falls, taxiway rehabilitation and purchasing security equipment in Boise, and terminal improvements in Pocatello.

Some of the other projects programmed are land acquisition at the Bonners Ferry and Driggs airports, fencing at Preston, pavement rehabilitation in Gooding, and rehabilitating Midvale’s runway.

Published 6-27-14