Frequently Asked Questions
What is Greater Idaho Falls Transit (GIFT) On-Demand?
GIFT is what is referred to as a microtransit service – commonly referred to as rideshare – in which passengers travel together in the same direction in a vehicle driven by a rideshare provider for a fee.
How is GIFT different than a taxi, other rideshare services, or a bus route?
Unlike the former Idaho Falls transportation service (TRPTA) that had fixed routes and bus stops, GIFT is an on-demand door-to-door service that will come directly to your home or anywhere else in the city of Idaho Falls limits to pick you up, eliminating the need for fixed routes or bus stops. If there is any wait time, you can wait in the comfort of your own home or wherever you’re picked up from in Idaho Falls. Users share rides with others who are headed in the same direction.
How do I schedule a ride?
You schedule rides through a smartphone app or by phone. Go to the Apple App Store or Google Play, enter “GIFT On-Demand” in the search bar, download the app, follow the instructions, and schedule your ride. Rides can also be scheduled by calling (208) 999-4483.
Can I schedule in advance?
Yes. Rides can be scheduled up to one week in advance.
How will I know when the driver will arrive to pick me up?
Thanks to technology, when you schedule an on-demand ride and it’s received through the app, the app will display a time that is within minutes of the driver’s arrival. You can see the estimated time before booking a ride. When you schedule a ride in advance, you pick a time for the ride to arrive. The app will show that it is a scheduled ride and will give you the driver’s name as soon as your ride is assigned to a driver.
How long will it take the driver to get me to my destination?
While the timeframe from pickup to delivery varies depending on the destination and how many other riders will be sharing the ride, it will take an estimated 20 minutes or less. If you need to be at scheduled appointments, please plan for at least 60 minutes to get to your destination.
How much does it cost?
See our RIDE FARE page for the most current fares.
What are the methods of payment?
If you schedule a ride using the app, you will be pay through the app with a credit or debit card. If scheduling by phone, you will pay the driver cash (exact amounts only). Tips are not required.
What are the hours of operation?
Starting 7/27/2023, GIFT will now provide rides from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday. The fare for the after-hours service (9 p.m. to 11 p.m.) is $10 per ride. The discounted fares do not apply to the after-hours service.
Is there an option to purchase a monthly GIFT pass?
While passes are not currently available, we are researching this option. Please check back with us.
What is the service area?
You can schedule a ride on GIFT anywhere in city of Idaho Falls limits. If you are not sure of those city limits, you can check any address from within the app.
Why are some areas grayed out on the GIFT service area map within the phone app?
The grayed out areas on the map are county properties that have not been annexed into the City of Idaho Falls. While GIFT does not transport to or from county properties, users can use the map to relocate to a nearby area that is within city limits and then schedule a ride.
Are the vehicles ADA compliant?
Yes, vehicles are ADA compliant to serve the needs of individuals with disabilities, including those who require wheelchairs. When calling inform the operator of wheelchair access need or when scheduling from the app select wheelchair on the passenger drop down indicating the need for additional assistance.
What if I need additional help from my door to the vehicle?
All GIFT drivers are trained in basic medical transport to assist those who need a little extra assistance. They will help you from your front door, to the vehicle, and to the door of your destination. Please request additional assistance in the notes on the app. Wheelchair users must select wheelchair in the app or specify on the phone when booking that you need a wheelchair compatible vehicle.
Are the vehicles equipped with bike racks?
Yes. All GIFT vehicles are equipped seasonally with bike racks, making it easier for individuals or families to hop a ride on GIFT to any of the many pathways in Idaho Falls.
What is the rider age minimum?
Children must be old enough to ride alone and sit unattended in the GIFT vehicle without a car seat. The child must be able to read and follow instructions. The child’s legal guardian must provide permission, assume liability, and determine if the child is able to ride a GIFT vehicle.
Do the vehicles have car seats?
We welcome infants and children on GIFT. However, none of our vehicles are equipped with car seats. An adult or capable user will need to ride with the user in the car or infant seat and will need to bring and install a car seat that will work with standard seatbelts or a car seat with a base.
Who can use GIFT?
GIFT is for anyone who needs a ride within City of Idaho Falls limits. If you need a ride to and from work, schedule a GIFT. If you don’t want to pack up the kids’ bikes for a ride around the Snake River, quickly bring up the GIFT App on your smartphone. If your car is broke down, schedule a GIFT. We provide rides to all the downtown events and those around the river, as well as the Idaho Falls Zoo, Sandy Downs, city golf courses, the airport, and more.
What is GIFT’s background and how is it funded?
Created by voters in 1994, the transit authority has provided nearly 25 years of service to Southeast Idaho. After ceasing fixed-route service in 2019, the new on-demand pilot project is funded federally through grants. The two-year pilot program is funded by a $4.2 million grant from the Federal Transportation Administration and the Idaho Transportation Department applied for in 2021, with an additional $327,000 recently announced by ITD. Funds not used in those two years can be rolled over into year three. ITD will reimburse the City of Idaho Falls for the cost of managing the transit service for two years. During that time, GIFT will collect utilization data, apply for more grants, and research additional funding mechanisms, such as sponsorships or private funding to support the program into the future.
Who provides oversight for the service?
One transit coordinator, is employed by the City of Idaho Falls to manage the contract to include monitoring of grant expenditures, financial tracking, and public outreach. Additional oversight is provided by the GIFT Board, which includes members of the Idaho Falls City Council. Click HERE for more information.
Which company was selected to provide the GIFT service?
Downtowner is the micro-transit provider which provides the turn-key operation that includes software, fleet, and drivers.
Are GIFT drivers employed by the service provider?
Yes. All GIFT drivers are employed by Downtowner to ensure reliable, professional, and high-quality service delivery. All job opportunities will be listed on Indeed.com.
Why is GIFT only provided in the city of Idaho Falls?
After the former fixed-route service (TRPTA) ceased providing public transportation in 2019, the City of Idaho Falls made a commitment to find alternate solutions for public transportation. Surrounding cities within Bonneville County (and Bonneville County itself) have the option to invest in GIFT and participate in the service, if they choose to do so after the two-year pilot program.