Grant intended to improve environment, increase ridership

Curbing energy use, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing public transportation ridership are goals of a $1.5 million federal funding request prepared by ITD and the Community Transportation Association of Idaho (CTAI).

The Federal Transit Administration will award $100 million in discretionary funds to public transportation agencies nationwide for energy and greenhouse gas reduction through its Transit Investment for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program.

ITD’s Division of Public Transportation and CTAI collaborated on a funding proposal that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption by adding anti-idling technology to cutaway vehicles – smaller Americans with Disabilities Act accessible vans.

“Idaho will use this TIGGER funding opportunity to help provide the state’s public transportation agencies tools and technology that will reduce vehicle fleet energy use and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Randy Kyrias, ITD Division of Public Transportation administrator.

The project also involves an overall statewide campaign to reduce emissions and energy consumption by providing improvements that will increase bus ridership, including the addition of:

  • Solar-powered lights to nearly 60 percent of Idaho’s bus stops;
  • Bus stop seats that retrofit to current bus stop poles for nearly 60 percent of Idaho’s bus stops;
  • Bus stop signs that will display the coming Bus Stop Identifier system for all of Idaho’s bus stops – part of new technology improvements from Idaho’s 511 Transit Information System;
  • Bicycle bus racks for about 75 buses in Idaho that need them or need to expand to three-bike holders; and
  • 120 secure bike storage units for bus stops, transit centers and ridesharing facilities throughout the state.

“Making the public transportation system more accessible around the state and better for the environment should result in increased ridership that will help keep Idaho clean and beautiful,” said Heather Wheeler, CTAI executive director.

Collaboration on the grant application was a direct result of Idaho’s I-way coordination process, Kyrias explained. The I-way process has contributed to more effective partnerships, service and efficiencies that improve access and connections to Idaho’s public transportation and other mobility options.

Published 8-20-2010