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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Getting There: Work begins on long-awaited bus rapid transit City Line

Bus rapid transit in Spokane is no longer just a glimmer in the Spokane Transit Authority’s eye nor an idea pushed around on paper. As of Friday, it was a small crew at the intersection of Cincinnati Street and Sharp Avenue, just north of the Gonzaga campus, with shovels in the dirt, working in the real world to pave the way for the City Line.

STA to stop collecting fares, offer free door-to-door rides to seniors

The Spokane Transit Authority will suspend fare collection, board most passengers by the rear doors of buses and offer free van rides to people age 60 and over traveling to essential destinations in an effort to boost safety on the bus and paratransit system during the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s official: Spokane gets $53M in funding for newly named City Line bus project

The oversize check displayed on the stage said it all: $53,425,000 made out to the Spokane Transit Authority from the U.S. Department of Transportation. STA has known the huge sum was coming to fully fund a long-awaited bus rapid transit line through downtown since April, when the federal government allocated the money for the project. But on Tuesday, the award became official and STA got direct access to the funds.

Garfield County joins Western Washington transportation players in suing over car-tab initiative

Initiative 976 could shutter the small southeast Washington county’s transportation authority, a lifeline for many elderly and rural residents on fixed incomes who need rides to regional hubs. The Garfield County organization is the only one outside of the Puget Sound which has sued to overturn the $30 car-tab initiative, approved by Washington voters earlier this month.

Getting There: The new ways of Wall Street

Crews tore out two concrete planters on the pedestrian-only Wall Street downtown last week, work that is making way for the Central City Line. The planters, popular spots for languorous smokers, were built decades ago in preparation for a trolley system that never materialized.

Shawn Vestal: Despite delay, price hike, Central City Line holds great potential in itself and as a model

The people overseeing the Central City Line say the sharp recent increase in the project’s estimated budget is not a red flag marking an emerging boondoggle. In fact, they argue it’s the opposite: an attempt to produce a realistic budget before work begins, driven in large part by a federal requirement that the agency set aside a big pot of money to defray unforeseen costs.

City to consider bike share proposals; could launch program by 2019

Visit nearly any American city and a bike awaits you. Kiosks filled with bikes for rent populate the cores of New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago, Portland and 113 other cities in the country. University towns such as Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Pullman, have bike share programs, as do the campuses of Yale, Ohio State, Purdue and Princeton universities. Smaller cities like Rapid City, South Dakota, and Clarksville, Tennessee, have them.

NJ train crash raises many familiar safety issues

The investigation into a New Jersey commuter train that hurtled into a station building Thursday raises many familiar issues from other crashes, including whether the tragedy could have been prevented or mitigated if a key safety technology had been in place.

Getting There: STA unveils plans to fix crowded corridors

Spokane Transit Authority last week unveiled a series of concepts to improve public transportation in future years. The cost ranges up to $400 million for construction of modern electric trolleys on heavily used routes. The trolleys would operate on pavement rather than rails. Light rail would likely double the cost.

Then and Now photos: Public transit

Trains powered by hydroelectric dams on the Spokane River were the first urban public transportation system in early Spokane. The Spokane and Montrose Street Railway, which operated the first electrified streetcar system, was taken over by a business group headed by Jay P. Graves in 1902 and renamed the Spokane Traction Company. Graves and timber businessman Frederick Blackwell, of Coeur d’Alene, extended electric train service to Lake Coeur d’Alene in 1903 under the name Spokane and Inland Empire Railroad.

Getting There: Fancher Beacon tower taken down

The historic Fancher Beacon tower that once held a powerful rotating light for early aviation is now gone from atop Beacon Hill in east Spokane. Named after Maj. John T. Fancher, the beacon was erected in 1928 just months after his death at an air show in Wenatchee and named in his honor.

Federal review finds deficiencies in transportation plan

The organization responsible for planning transportation spending in Spokane is getting its knuckles rapped in a newly released federal review. The Spokane Regional Transportation Council failed to include public transit and other alternatives to automobile travel in its main transportation plans, the government said in a report.

Eye on Boise: Holiday travel expected to go up despite gas prices

BOISE – Idaho’s average gas price is now $2.99 per gallon, up four cents in the past three weeks and 31 cents above the national average of $2.68, according to AAA of Idaho. But the AAA is forecasting a 10 percent increase in auto travel over this Labor Day holiday weekend in Idaho and the region, compared to last year, despite the pricier gas. “We do not expect Idaho’s higher gas prices will have any sizable impact on travel intentions,” said Dave Carlson, director of public and government affairs for AAA Idaho.