A unanimous Spokane Transit Authority board on Thursday approved spending a little less than $10 million to buy seven double-decker buses for use on routes to Cheney beginning in 2025.
The seven Alexander Dennis Inc. coaches will be bought with a mix of state, federal and local funding and will run the 6 and 66 routes from downtown Spokane to Cheney. The seven double-decker buses will replace the articulated vehicles in the fleet that STA officials say have reached the end of their useful life. The double-deckers will provide seating for about 20 more passengers on each trip and free up curb space for loading.
The board had previously approved funding in their budget to procure the buses for $8.24 million. STA has a contract with the state’s Department of Enterprise Services to procure the buses from Alexander Dennis, an English firm. The price has increased since initial projections, and STA has put aside an additional contingency amount of $810,900 to pay for additional features that will need to be added to the buses, including cameras and fare payment hardware.
The $9.9 million total also included estimated sales taxes of 9.1%.
The coaches will run routes along Jefferson Street in downtown to provide clearance for their 13-foot, 6-inch height. The viaduct on Jefferson Street provides clearance of up to 14 feet, 4 inches.
The board passed the additional budget request without debate Thursday.