Twin Falls Explores Public Transportation Options As Population Surpasses Funding Threshold

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT / KSVT) – It’s no secret Idaho is growing, and so is Twin Falls. The expansion comes with growing pains and adjustments to adapt to the population.

“We always face unique situations, and this is happening in Twin Falls, it’s the main one right now,” Deputy Mayor Ruth Pierce said in an interview with KMVT last week.

Even if Twin Falls awaits certified census results, it is almost certain that the city will have a population of over 50,000. Since it exceeds this threshold, the region will have to start planning for public transit infrastructure in order to receive funding.

But the question is, how do you get there?

“My biggest fear, and why I certainly don’t want to see it happen, is the buses that run around Twin Falls that are empty,” said Mandi Thompson, assistant to the City Manager of Twin Falls.

Thompson said one of the options would be: “Create a system where it’s basically like carpooling and people who really need the services can get them through vouchers and other means.”

A study by the Western Transportation Institute shows recommendations made in Twin Falls regarding public transportation. Check out the study here, which touches on a few proposals the region is considering.

Currently, Twin Falls has Trans IV operated by CSI, an on-demand transportation service. However, the grant used to fund Trans IV is intended for areas of less than 50,000 people, which means that at the end of next September, the funds will stop coming.

“We are committed to finding a lasting solution that we can afford and that will hopefully serve the people in the community who need it most,” said Thompson.

For every dollar in federal funding, the city will have to match it in one way or another.

According to Thompson, this will not impact property taxes at this point. The city will continue to operate within the existing budget.

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