I often hear people complain that Nampa has lousy public transit. The buses aren’t frequent enough, don't come close enough to my neighborhood to even be a reasonable option and really...who wants to stand in the cold or the blazing sun waiting for a bus?
You need to realize that this is NOT the fault of Valley Regional Transit. Funding for VRT comes from many sources, including support from each city they service. Caldwell, Boise, Meridian, BSU, CWI all "get it" and have voted to fund VRT at the level needed for the next year.
Instead, Nampa's council chose to cut funding and demand more service from VRT. This follows multiple presentations from VRT showing them the facts; recent surveys where Nampans indicated public transit should be improved; and a city health assessment revealing that transportation was one of four issues due to the large number of people who cannot afford a private vehicle.
Our council's plan for transportation is to simply spend millions of dollars for more roads, lanes, signals. In light of current and future growth, this single-minded approach is shortsighted and irresponsible.
The prevailing attitude of Nampa’s council is that public transit is not the city's responsibility at all and that it should be funded by non-profits and private business.
Transit is a public good and plays a critical role in getting people of all ages and abilities to jobs and education. Even if you don't use it — the lack of it will impact you.
Please speak up on Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. at Nampa's budget hearing. If you don't, your elected officials will cut public transit again next year which will weaken service for the entire valley and give Nampa the honor of being one of the least livable communities.
LaRita Schandorff, Nampa