Carl Root, newly appointed member of the District 2 Public Transportation Advisory Committee, summarized the public transportation options available – including those provided by the Nez Perce Tribe, in a presentation to the Idaho Transportation Board April 22 in Lewiston.
A new pilot project in District 2 is being established to provide weekly service between Moscow and Elk River. The service will provide citizens in an underserved area access to doctor appointments, shopping and other activities.
Some of the public transportation challenges in the area are the disconnect between social services and getting counties more involved in the local network. Root also believes more focus could be placed on marketing and media efforts for mobility management and suggests that economic development and transportation have a strong connection that should be pursued.
Future goals are to increase participation and to implement strategies identified at the local level.
ITD and the Community Transportation Association of Idaho are partnering to recognize leadership and innovation in the effective coordination of mobility options in each district.
Appaloosa Express Transit was the first recipient of the I-way Leadership award. Operated by the Nez Perce Tribe, the service offers transportation to everyone living and working within the reservation. It operates a fixed-route system that provides services in three local mobility networks; crosses ethnic boundaries, serving the elderly, low income, and people with disabilities; provides student transportation; and offers on-demand services to address special needs. It also connects with other transit services in the area.
Nez Perce Tribal Chairman Samuel Penney accepted the award on behalf of Appaloosa Express Transit. He said the name was chosen because the Appaloosa horse is an important part of the Tribe’s culture and heritage. The breed is known for its speed and stamina.
Penney thanked the Board for the recognition and for the partnership the department has established with the tribe. He also expressed appreciation to the person who nominated Appaloosa Express for the award.
Other board discussion
Over-legal loads on U.S. 12
ITD staff summarized the permit process and procedures for those oversize loads. Safety is the department’s highest priority, and then consideration is given to limiting the impacts to the traveling public. Over-legal permit fees are based on factors such as the size of the vehicle, its configuration and the number of axles. The length of the route also is part of the equation. It is a sliding scale set forth in Idaho Code.
Because of the size of the oil refinery equipment and the ITD’s commitment to prevent traffic delays of more than 15 minutes, numerous turnoffs have been identified along the route. That will enable the oversize loads to pull off the main highway and allow traffic to get around the vehicles transporting the equipment. Travel speed is expected to be around 25 mph. The plans also include moving the loads at night, which should help minimize disruptions to the traveling public.
Central issuance of driver’s licenses
Sufficient time is being incorporated to test the new system to ensure its success. The revised timeline includes communicating the change to the public, retailers, law enforcement and other stakeholders in March 2011. Rollout of the central issuance process at 52 locations throughout the state is scheduled for June 2011.
After staff assured the board that no GPS tracking mechanism is embedded in the card, board members approved the design format at its meeting and directed staff to continue efforts to initiate production of the cards utilizing secure card materials.