On those frigid mornings when Boise is smothered by weather inversions — or sweltering summer days when air quality nudges into the hazardous range — I’ve taken to riding the bus to get around town and perform my errands. No sense adding another car full of exhaust to the mix when there’s a practical alternative.
An obvious experiment in imaginative marketing exists for ValleyRide to declare all of its buses “free” on those days when winter inversions and summer heat waves trap pollutants like a blanket over the Treasure Valley. Yes, a few daily fares might be sacrificed, only to be offset by the potential boost in ridership and long-range revenue as more new customers finally discover the bus and begin forsaking snarled, bumper-to-bumper traffic.
At the very least, creative responses to bad-air days might begin to spark realization by the public that there’s a genuine connection among weather, local topography, our huge proportion of single-driver automobiles and the unhealthy air that we’re all breathing.
David Klinger, Boise