Friday, August 30, 2013

Mountain Rides eyes Bellevue for transit center

Board of directors approves pursuing site in southern part of city


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

    Mountain Rides Transportation Authority is looking once again at building a south valley transportation center in Bellevue.
    On Thursday, the organization’s board of directors voted unanimously to pursue a site composed of two undeveloped lots owned by Blaine County on the north side of Clover Street where it intersects Gannett Road. Approval came at the request of Mountain Rides Executive Director Jason Miller.
    “The purpose is to narrow our focus so we have a clear direction where to go with this site,” Miller told the board.
    Mountain Rides has been considering other sites in Hailey, but Miller said a site in Bellevue better meets the organization’s needs because it’s at the south end of the organizations’ Valley Route bus service that connects the north and south valley.
    It is the second site in Bellevue that Mountain Rides has seriously considered for a transportation center. The organization abandoned plans late last year for the earlier site, which was near the intersection of Gannett Road and state Highway 75, after Bellevue officials declined to modify city zoning law to allow usage. Instead, Bellevue officials decided that the site would be of greater benefit to the city if used for commercial purposes.


The purpose is to narrow our focus
so we have a clear direction where to go with
this site.”
Jason Miller
Mountain Rides


Miller said preliminary discussions with Bellevue officials indicate that they are supportive of the new site selection. He said Mountain Rides will need some conditional use permits from the city.
   The two county lots together are one-half acre in size. Mountain Rides intends to build a bus barn for vehicle storage and maintenance. The building would also have office and passenger waiting space. A preliminary design would allow up to 19 spaces for employee parking and a passenger park and ride.
  Mountain Rides estimates construction costs of the transportation center at between $720,000 and $775,000.
Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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