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Public transit’s last day of operation will be Tuesday

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IDAHO FALLS – After last week’s announcement that Targhee Regional Public Transit Authority would be closing over the next 90 days, the public transportation entity has now decided to close April 30.

“Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be the last day we operate buses,” Mike O’Bleness, the chairman of the TRPTA board, tells EastIdahoNews.com.

RELATED: Public transportation service in Idaho Falls closing operations

The sudden change in plans, according to O’Bleness, is due to lack of continued support from their funders.

“That leaves us in a position where the only choice we have is to stop incurring costs. We really hoped they would work with us on our gradual shut down. I have great concerns for those people who need public transit in our communities. So, I am most disappointed,” he says.

By the end of the day Tuesday, TRPTA will no longer be offering public transportation.

The Bonneville Metropolitan Planning Organization met with Idaho Transportation Department Monday morning to discuss options to take care of TRPTA customers going forward.

Michelle Ziel-Dingman, the chairperson of the BMPO board says several entities have expressed interest in providing direct routes for TRPTA customers.

“The city council has not yet met or made any decisions about the future of public transportation, so I can’t speak for the council. But I’m going to figure out what the process would be (to involve other entities) and then bring it back to the city council to see if we have a consensus to move forward,” Ziel-Dingman says.

For now, ITD is working with TRPTA funders to find a list of providers who can pick up some of the non-emergency medical transportation in the short run, says Ziel-Dingman. ITD will be updating the public so that TRPTA riders have resources to book rides with a different provider.

You can visit the TRPTA website for the most up-to-date information as the shutdown process continues to unfold.

TRPTA provides about 23,000 rides a year to people in the Bonneville County metropolitan area, which includes Idaho Falls, Ammon, Iona, and Ucon. It also provides transportation to customers in Rexburg and Teton County. Many of those customers are people with disabilities or people who can’t drive for medical reasons.

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