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‘Much needed’: VRT receives grant to help fuel big changes to State St.

Long-planned upgrades to Boise’s State Street corridor got a boost with a federal grant.

Valley Regional Transit won an $8.5 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity program. The RAISE program grant will be matched by around $2 million in local contributions that will be used to construct pedestrian, transit, and bicycle facilities along an over six-mile stretch of State Street/ Highway 44, extending from downtown Boise to Bogart Lane. 

Included in the improvement projects are on-route eclectic bus charging, accessible bus stations, ticketing machines, real-time bus arrival displays, updated lighting, multi-use path, improved wheelchair access and infrastructure, and more street crossings. 

“This grant will allow VRT and our partners to make much-needed investments in a crucial transportation corridor,” Kelli Badesheim, VRT’s Executive Director said. “We will experience improved transit speed and reliability, enhanced accessibility and safety, and more comfortable and consistent travel for anyone using State Street. This will also provide an excellent foundation as we work toward a premium level of bus service.”

Through the Valley Connect 2.0 Plan, State Street was identified as one of the transit corridors for “premium bus service.” This would include 15-minute bus arrivals all day at improved stations. VRT is expecting project design to start next spring and construction to start the following summer. 

“This award represents years of work and coordination across the region,” Badesheim said, noting work from sponsors including the City of Boise, Ada County Highway District, and others.

Nationally, VRT was one of 166 recipients to receive a grant from this year’s $2.2 billion RAISE program.  ACHD also received grant funds.

“Getting people moving more easily on State Street has been one of our top priorities, so we’ve made it a key focal point in our work with local and federal partners,” Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said. “This investment, and the impact it will have on the lives of the people who live, work, and play in our community, is the result of a coordinated effort between the US Department of Transportation, the White House, Idaho’s Congressional Delegation and local partners, including the Idaho Department of Transportation, the City of Boise, Valley Regional Transit, ACHD, CCDC, and COMPASS. This investment in one of our city’s major transportation corridors is a great example of what we can accomplish by working together.”

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Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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