NICE puts brakes on rural service

Print Article

SANDPOINT — Local transportation officials are scrambling to restore services after North Idaho Community Express announced the cancellation of its rural presence.

Community Transportation Association of Idaho mobility manager Clifton Warren informed the Bonner County Area Transportation Team on Wednesday that NICE was halting rural transportation in Kootenai, Bonner and Shoshone counties as well as intercity travel between Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene. The termination of services ultimately boiled down to a lack of local funding, Warren said.

“We are trying very desperately to find candidates that can restore services,” he added.

The precise details behind the service cancellation are still unknown. According to Warren, an abrupt chain of events resulted in the suddenness of the dropped routes.

“I can confirm that no malfeasance was involved,” Idaho Transportation Department information office spokeswoman Susan Kiebert said. “Otherwise, I’m not sure of the details.” 

The end of the services come as bad news for many individuals in Bonner County. Around 20 Sandpoint students used the system to attend classes at North Idaho College, according to school associate Kathy Kraus. Many elderly or infirmed residents also relied on the bus to make their doctor appointments.

Warren suggests that former NICE clientele find an alternative means of transportation like Sandpoint’s taxi companies, American Carriage Transportation or White Tail Transportation. Meanwhile, IDT and CTAI are working to find an alternative service provider. With some state funding available, the organizations are currently searching for the right candidate to step in as a service provider.

“We’re hoping to have something in place by the end of January,” Warren said.

But Kiebert said that establishing new transportation infrastructure is no mean feat, especially given the unexpectedness of the situation.

“We were all taken by surprise,” she said. “I had always enjoyed a really good working relationship with NICE.” 

Warren said that IDT and CTAI are fully committed to addressing the situation and advised concerned individuals to check for updates on the i-way.org blog.

“I’m really sorry that this happened, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure the situation is resolved,” he said.

Print Article

Read More News

Local man’s story, donation affirms students’ mission

October 19, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — It was about 8:30 in the morning Tuesday when a man entered the office at Washington Elementary. He was looking for Ann Dickinson, the teacher who oversees the sixth-grade Design For Cha...

Comments

Read More

Lauren Adair joins Remax in Action

October 19, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — Remax in Action is pleased to announce that respected veteran Lauren Adair has joined one of Sandpoint’s premier real estate brokerage companies. Lauren Adair has 14 years of experience ...

Comments

Read More

J.C. Penney hosting Kid Zone fun

October 19, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee As part of the new JCPenney Kid Zone program, kids are invited into all JCPenney stores this Saturday, Oct. 21, to decorate a trick-or-treat bag for Halloween. This fun (and free) craft will take pla...

Comments

Read More

Motorist is injured in Tuesday crash

October 19, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee PRIEST RIVER — A Priest Lake man was injured Tuesday in a crash on Highway 57, according to Idaho State Police State police said Joseph W. Bopp was driving southbound when he went off the highway’s ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2017 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X