The Idaho Transportation Board received a report on the status of a project to develop a public transportation plan for the Yellowstone-Teton National Parks Corridor. The update was presented at the board’s Jan. 17 meeting at Headquarters in Boise.
ITD is part of a three-state coalition that formed a partnership with the National Park Service to develop a public transportation plan for the corridor. The board committed $30,000 in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds in December 2006 to retain a consultant to develop a transportation business plan for the corridor.
The Yellowstone Business Partnership (YBP) had planned to administer the funds. The plan was to be a collaborative effort of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming to develop and allocate resources to provide improved transportation options, environmental protection, economic development opportunities, safe and secure travel and greater access to recreation opportunities in the tri-state Teton Area.
$30,000 was approved concurrently with the submittal of an FHWA grant
application to fund the remainder of the proposed project. However,
the FHWA grant was not approved.
The YBP recently secured a commitment for a $150,000 U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Grant for a strategic business plan that includes consideration of a regionally coordinated public transportation system.
The transportation board agreed to modify use of the previously approved $30,000 FTA funds to use $25,000 as local match for the USDA Rural Development grant and the remaining $5,000 to support the administration of the grant.
Other Board discussion
Report: Division of Aeronautics
Some of the airport maintenance projects included dust abatement at the Stanley Airport, installation of showers at Garden Valley and the addition of a shop at Cavanaugh Bay. The transportation department continues to rely heavily on volunteers to help maintain airstrips. The board expressed its appreciation for the valuable service volunteers provide.
The Flight Operations Program can provide increased passenger productivity when using state planes for some air transportation. It is flexible, secure and sometimes the only alternative. The Division of Aeronautics reported no incidents or accidents in 2007. Goals for this year are to develop a computerized flight administration system and promote increased use by state organizations.
Safety outreach and education continues to be a big part of the division’s mission. It sponsored seminars, inspection authorization training, the Aviation Career Exploration Academy and teacher aviation workshops. The state’s aviation fatalities were at a ten-year low.
Assistance was provided to airports through the airport supplies program, the airport inspection program, obstruction evaluations and technical assistance. Federal Aviation Administration grants of $877,502 funded three airport layout plans, airport maintenance activities and a forthcoming update of the state airport system plan.
Idaho online program credit card fees
The driver license re-instatement program will pass the credit card charges on to customers along with the Access Idaho online charge in the form of a consolidated “convenience fee.” ITD staff would like to implement the credit card fee on driver license re-instatements and then transition the fee to the remaining online programs over the next six months.
As additional online applications are implemented, credit card fees would be charged to the customer as a “pass-through” fee in this manner as well. Idaho Code allows the department to pass the fee on to customers who use credit cards for transactions.
ITD staff also is working with vendors to transition credit card fees to customers in other business areas. Credit card processing fees are incurred for over-the-counter and telephone transactions, in addition to processing payments by mail. In FY07 the department paid $232,300 in credit card charges. Approximately 20 percent, or $44,800, of all credit card fees was from Access Idaho online applications.
The transportation board approved the request to begin passing the credit card processing fees on to customers who pay by credit card.