Instead of a trolley or train, what Boise needs is electric shuttle buses. Chattanooga, Tenn., has had them since 1992. Free to ride, with donation boxes on the buses and at the two stations. Other funding comes from a share of parking lot fees. There would be no changes to the roads and routes could be changed as needed. The metro areas of Boise and Chattanooga have similar population sizes, so I don’t see why Boise would have any problem supporting such a service. Boise should be able to have a lower startup cost since the R&D is already done, just buy the buses from the company that builds them for Chattanooga. Their newest ones use lithium-ion batteries, though as of last summer they still had a few lead-acid ones in service. More demand could benefit both cities by improving the economics of production. The other major expense would be building a station and garage or converting an existing building.
Gregg Eshelman, Weiser
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