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STA eliminates two bus routes

Two little-used bus routes that serve park-and-ride lots in Spokane were eliminated in a vote Wednesday by the Spokane Transit Authority board of directors.

Cuts totaling 2 percent of operating costs were approved by the board and are expected to take effect in September.

Those cuts are expected to be the first in a series of budget-trimming measures that STA plans to undertake. An additional 7 percent cut is planned for next year and a second 7 percent cut may follow in 2012.

Routes 35 and 47, which provide shuttle service to park-and-ride lots at Five Mile and on the South Hill, will be eliminated.

In addition, routes 2, 20, 23, 22, 44 and 74 would see reductions in route frequency or weekend service.

The cuts are being forced by a decline in sales tax revenue since 2007. Last year’s sales taxes were down by 12 percent, and the decline continued in the first quarter of this year.