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The news that the Washington Supreme Court ruled the $30 car tab initiative unconstitutional was met with a somewhat tepid response by transportation agencies last week. While the ruling preserves some transportation funding, tax revenues are down due to the pandemic, adding another obstacle to a system that planners say is underfunded to meet the needs of the public.
The suspect, Patrick Page, was booked into the Spokane County Jail on a charge of first-degree assault, Spokane police Cpl. Ron Van Tassel said in a news release.
Want to take the bus from Spokane to Coeur d'Alene?
A conservative approach to using revenue has allowed the transit agency to look ahead without major interruptions to service, a spokesman said. But fewer people riding the bus means less taken in through fares, which has STA and government officials asking how they can raise money without burdening low-income riders who rely on the service for essential travel.
About an hour after Gov. Jay Inslee announced all Washington residents will be required to wear face coverings in public effective Friday, all but a handful of people at the Spokane Transit Authority Plaza in downtown Spokane were without masks.
Plans for alleviating the traffic flow headaches on the West Plains have long been in the works, but the addition of the Amazon fulfillment center and hopes of increasing commercial activity in the area mean those plans may be short-term fixes.
The Spokane Transit Authority has received a $23.4 million cash infusion from the federal government that will help keep Spokane’s bus system operating in the near term. But it likely won’t be nearly enough to cover the long-term repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agency.
The Spokane Transit Authority announced the suspension of fares March 24 in an effort to promote social distancing and help get people around during the coronavirus pandemic. But City Councilwoman Kate Burke said the public transit provider should consider making free service permanent and fund the service completely through tax revenue. Doing so would present future funding challenges, STA says.
Transportation planners will be asking residents to weigh in on the future of the Division Street design, following planned completion of the North Spokane Corridor and implementation of high-speed bus service. That may include some planning from the city that will give the bustling arterial a more neighborhood feel with through traffic taking other routes around Spokane.
The Spokane Transit Authority announced Wednesday an employee has COVID-19.
The Spokane Transit Authority will drop express bus routes as of Monday, after ridership dropped 70% in March, compared to the same month last year.
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.
The Spokane Transit Authority has a stockpile of 2,620 N95 masks, which are a critical and increasingly rare piece of protective equipment in the fight against the global coronavirus pandemic, and the agency plans to distribute them to bus and paratransit drivers on a voluntary basis beginning Friday.
The Spokane Transit Authority closed most waiting areas in the downtown Plaza on Tuesday morning, complying with a Sunday order from Gov. Jay Inslee banning gatherings of more than 50 people statewide.
With officials city-, state- and worldwide urging people to practice social distancing and avoid crowds as much as possible to slow the virus’ spread, the very nature of public transit makes it difficult for those who ride to follow those recommendations and orders.
In renderings released this past week, the Spokane Transit Authority unveiled how the city’s new bus rapid transit system will look. And, bottom line, it won’t look like the rest of the STA system.
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.
Nearly five months after the Spokane Transit Authority rebuffed Spokane Mayor David Condon’s request to move bus stops on East Sprague Avenue, the City Council will consider using technology to prevent cars from backing up behind buses in intersections.
Spokane’s first bus rapid transit line is still two or three years away but work to prepare the city for its arrival continues, most recently at the downtown transit plaza.
The video suggests Spokane Transit Authority’s downtown bus plaza is a magnet for criminal activity.