More than 80 participants and observers recently studied Idaho’s transportation needs during the third meeting of the Forum on Transportation Investment (FTI), an all-day session at the Red Lion Hotel in Pocatello.
The FTI is charged with examining highway, rail and transit issues in Idaho. The group of state economic leaders first met in September in Boise. The forum will present a report on its findings to the Idaho Transportation Board in November.
Idaho Transportation Department Director Dave Ekern opened the discussion with an explanation of the GARVEE (Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle) bonding bill that recently passed the Idaho Legislature.
Forum consultant Tom Warne gave a prospective on Idaho’s transportation needs and then moderated a panel discussion by Scott Ellsworth of CH2M Hill, Joe Haynes of the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council, Mary Barker of the Community Transportation Association of Idaho and Matt Stoll of Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho (COMPASS).
H.W. Lochner’s senior vice president Dwight Bower, the forum consultant on policy issues, presented a 30-year capital improvement report to the group. Bower’s report identified $20 billion in transportation needs in Idaho over the next 30 years. To arrive at that figure, he polled state, county and local agencies through the transportation department’s district offices.
The forum’s luncheon speaker was Rick Krochalis, Federal Transit Administration regional administrator. His topic was: Vision of Public Transit.”
Participants spent the afternoon in breakout sessions working with the information.
The next meeting will be June 28 in Twin Falls. Information about the FTI’s latest session will be posted soon on the transportation department’s Web site.