(KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV) - Public transportation in the City of Twin Falls...
It's hoped by the year 2022, a fixed route system will be in, making the lives of citizens in the twin falls area much more mobile.
"The city just recently received a grant... it's actually federal funding, department of transportation funding that's passed through the Idaho Department of Transportation,” said Mandi Thompson, grant writer for the City of Twin Falls. “Its rural transportation funding but it's going to allow us to begin looking at implementing a fixed route system in the city of Twin Falls."
When any city in the United States reaches a population size of 50,000 residents, it's federally mandated that it must provide public transportation for its citizens. While the city isn't quite at that mark yet, planning for the future is the game plan.
"There are plenty of people that would like to see something before that. But until we have a plan in place and we have an understanding of cost... we really can't say anything above and beyond what we know what we'll be required to do," said Thompson.
The next census won't be until the year 2020, the city feels at that time the 50,000 threshold will be surpassed. And is looking at the year 2022 as the start of public transportation.
So it's not a matter of if, but a matter of when. And when that time does come, what is the next move?
"We'll be hiring a consultant, a transportation consultant that will examine what we have here... what the layout of our streets are,” said Thompson. “They'll make recommendations on routes based on generators, which are... Saint Luke's, the schools, CSI, the mall, some of the larger retail outlets... anywhere that are people traveling to and from in large quantities. That will help us determine what the best routes are in the city."
From there it will go back to the city's engineers' and public works department to determine the best locations for bus stops. For one local organization, the CSI refugee program... Having a fixed bus route system has been a dream for many years.
"Right now were only able to provided transportation for them for the 6 to 8 months that they are here,” said Tara McFarland. “So it would open up a whole new world of opportunities for them to be self sufficient... to get themselves to their own medical appointments... get themselves to work without them having to rely on us as a refugee center or relying on friends and family"
As Twin Falls moves from a rural classification to urban, the city is taking their time to give its citizens the best and most reliable transportation it they can.