TRPTA prepares for uncertain future
The board for the TRPTA bus service met Tuesday to decide whether they would release its executive director to keep their funding from the city of Idaho Falls.
The city of Idaho Falls wants to see some big changes to continue funding the bus line. City Council member Sharon Parry said it's no longer the transit system that the people of Idaho Falls voted for.
"It's really important that today the TRPTA board have the fortitude to create what the public intended on. It needs to be a healthy and viable public transportation system,” said Parry.
The city gave three major guidelines for change. The bus line had to get it's finances in order, release the current executive director, Lynn Seymour, of her duties and come up with a better plan. After a closed executive meeting, TRPTA board chairman Lee Staker announced the board's next course of action.
"As of the (Nov) 30th, Lynn will no longer be executive director," said Staker.
If you're expecting the name of a replacement, it may be a while before you get it. The board decided to do away with the position completely and replaced it with an interim group.
"We have set up a three member team that will run TRPTA in the interim of what we've decided to do into the future," said Staker.
Will Tuesday's decision be enough to keep funds rolling in? With the executive director out the door and a plan in motion, Idaho Falls doesn't have to keep funding the transit.
“The city will simply have to take stock of whether we want to use TRPTA or if we want to have our own vendor," said Parry.
The city believes it can find a better transit system.
"There's plenty of vendors out there who will step up and bid on the process," Parry said.
Regardless of the city's next move, the board is taking precautions and weighing all their options.
"(If Idaho Falls backs out) we still have the reduction to go forward and then we will probably reduce staff and size as well, then we will just go to a demand response type situation,"
According to TRPTA, it seems that Idaho Falls could look for other transit options. The board said Idaho Falls has not paid for this quarter.
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