Boise & Garden City

Downtown Boise park-and-ride could start in mid-June

Parking in Downtown Boise has grown more difficult and more expensive in recent years, leading Capital City Development Corporation, Boise’s urban renewal agency, to try out a park-and-ride system.
Parking in Downtown Boise has grown more difficult and more expensive in recent years, leading Capital City Development Corporation, Boise’s urban renewal agency, to try out a park-and-ride system. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

The city of Boise will lease 60 spots in a parking lot at 2891 Elder St. and Boise State University buses will pick up people who park there, take them to Main Street Station in the morning and return them in the afternoon. Capital City Development Corporation, Boise’s urban renewal agency, will split the program’s estimated $72,000 cost with BSU.

The service will be free. It will run daily 6-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. Buses would come about once every 20 minutes.

That’s the plan the three entities have worked out, said Max Clark, CCDC’s parking and facilities director. The deal isn’t official yet because attorneys are hammering out details, Clark said.

The goal is to start service June 12 and continue it into mid-August, he said. The timing works for BSU, he said, because there’s not much demand for BSU’s shuttles during the summer. Besides the Elder Street parking lot and Main Street Station, the buses could make as many as three stops along Vista, Clark said.

If the program is popular, CCDC and Boise could provide similar service permanently, though they would have to find a new shuttle operator once the school year ramps up demand for BSU’s buses.

Clark said the park-and-ride system is a low-risk, low-cost partial solution to the tightening supply of parking spaces Downtown.

CCDC has talked about a second park-and-ride loop with a lot near the corner of Fairview Avenue and Whitewater Park Boulevard. But that plan is on hold, Clark said. Partly, that’s because CCDC hasn’t settled on the right piece of property for users to park, and partly because the agency wants the Elder Street-Vista loop to prove or disprove the concept’s viability, Clark said.

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