TWIN FALLS — Trans IV Buses is facing a $13,000 loss this year, even if it receives grant money from the city.
The public transportation service estimates that with funding cuts and increased costs, that loss could reach $25,000 or more in each of the coming 2019 and 2020 grant years.
“So far we’ve been able to pull it out of reserves but that’s a short-term thing rather than a long-term deal,” Director Lynn Baird told the City Council on Monday.
The Council voted unanimously to enter a joint agreement and fund Trans IV Buses $45,000 for that two-year period.
In past years, the Council has awarded Trans IV Buses a Municipal Powers Outsource Grant to help it receive the matching funds it needs. These funds are required for Trans IV to receive federal funding through Idaho Transportation Department.
But the funding decreased in recent years as more emphasis was placed on fixed routes, city grant writer Mandi Thompson said. Meanwhile, other sources of matching funds have “dried up.”
“They’re no longer able to break even,” she said.
Trans IV provides public transportation for anyone in the city, though Thompson said they “target those who cannot provide their own transportation.” The cost to the general public is $5 for a round-trip ride, and all trips are scheduled in advance.
The service has 13 buses and runs about 10 of them each day, serving about 100 people, Baird said.
One community member said she thought it was a convenient service, but it wasn’t economical when she found she was consistently the only one taking the bus twice weekly from the College of Southern Idaho.
However, the city projects it will be required to provide public transportation following the 2020 Census, and said the demand-response service is preferred to a fixed-route system.
Also at the meeting, the Council:
Heard Councilwoman Ruth Pierce, a breast cancer survivor, read a proclamation declaring Oct. 20 as Breast Cancer Awareness Day in Twin Falls. Pierce was also given a pink fire department T-shirt and a framed picture taken earlier that day of her with the fire department.
Awarded a bid for a new airport fire truck to Rosenbauer for $640,172.16. The truck will be paid for through an Federal Aviation Administration grant, with a 6.25 percent local match. The old truck will be kept on reserve to be used as needed.
Adopted an ordinance annexing 491 Canyon Rim Road with a zoning designation of R-2.
Adopted an ordinance vacating the Garnand Subdivision Conveyance Plat, excluding dedicated easements and right-of-way, at 129 Eastland Drive.
Approved a zoning change and zoning map amendment at 2016 Addison Ave. E., rezoning the property to residential with a professional overlay. This will allow the Janice Seagraves Family Foundation to operate at the residence.