MOSCOW Valley Transit, University of Idaho and City
of Moscow officials will gather with seniors, students and
other bus riders in Friendship Square Tuesday to launch Moscows
first fixed-route, public transportation service Moscow
The event will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude with a ceremonial
bus ride. Main Street between Third and Fifth streets will
be closed from 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. for the event.
Beginning Tuesday, the three-way partnership which
is funded with state and federal grant money won by Valley
Transit and matching dollars from UI and the city will
provide scheduled, fixed-route bus transportation in Moscow.
Regular scheduled service will begin shortly after noon that
day at the bus turnout between St. Augustines Catholic
Center and the UI Student Union Building. After that, regular
service will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
There will be no fare to riders using the Moscow Valley Transit
fixed route; fares will continue to be charged for dial-a-ride
service and for non-university riders on Wheatland Express.
Currently, the Lewiston-based Regional Public Transportation,
Inc. known as Valley Transit provides extensive
dial-a-ride service in Moscow, but riders must schedule their
trips 24 hours in advance. That service provides the foundation
for the fixed route, according to Valley Transit Executive
Director Tom La Pointe.
This partnership allows us to develop a pilot fixed-route
service to complement the dial-a-ride service we currently
provide, La Pointe said. It is a good starting
point for further development of fixed-route service throughout
Federal designation of Lewiston as an urban area in 2002
freed up rural transportation dollars within Idahos
District 2. Valley Transit, in partnership with the city and
the university, competed for and received capital and operating
grants totaling nearly $330,000 to provide service in Moscow,
which is one of the largest rural communities in the state
without a public, fixed-route service.
The University of Idaho provided soft match with
the dollars it currently spends on its contract with Wheatland
Express to provide transit service to students, faculty and
staff. UI and the City of Moscow provided hard
match of more than $60,000.
This service would not have been possible without the
support and partnership with the university and the city,
La Pointe said.
Dan Schoenberg, director of Auxiliary Services at UI, said
the new service is another way to assist students, faculty
and staff at the institution. I am very pleased we are
able to leverage the funds we already spend with Wheatland
Express to provide transportation between Moscow and Pullman
into another transit option for the entire Moscow community,
Moscow Mayor Marshall Comstock said the partnership meshes
well with the citys support of public transit options
for its citizens. Every opportunity we have to increase
the publics transportation options is good for the citizens,
he said. The proposed Moscow Valley Transit system will
provide such an option. We look forward to the new service
and the ability to help it expand in the future.
Users of the fixed-route service can catch a bus ride at
any of several pre-designated sites at specific times. The
service will begin 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Monday through
Friday; it will not operate on certain holidays and university
Working with the Moscow Transportation Commissions
Advisory Subcommittee, Valley Transit staff has developed
the specific path of the scheduled fixed-route. In general,
the route will consist of two separate, 30-minute loops that
incorporate high-traffic areas in eastern and western parts
of Moscow, specifically downtown Moscow, the University of
Idaho campus and shopping areas at both ends of the community.
Specifics about the fixed-route schedule and stops will be
available by contacting Valley Transit at 883-7747 or at www.uidaho.edu/parking.
Schedules for Wheatland Express also are available at that
Web site or at www.wheatlandexpress.com
La Pointe noted that the routes were designed to complement
current transportation service provided by Wheatland Express.
He encouraged rider feedback.
Everyone needs to understand that this is a pilot program.
Were going to make mistakes, and we want to hear from
riders about how best to serve them, he said. Constructive
criticism is always appreciated. Were excited about
being able to provide this service to the Moscow community.