STA plans to expand to West Plains and improve Downtown plaza

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on January 17, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 17 at 11:40 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Spokane Transit Authority is in the early stages of expanding in the West Plains. The announcement comes as the STA hopes to make improvements to its Downtown Bus Plaza.

The STA said both projects would make the organization more efficient. Improvements Downtown would help bus riders make the most of the plaza. A new transit center would help people travel around the West Plains while avoiding Downtown.

Changes to the Downtown Plaza include letting you see your bus from inside and signs showing how long before a certain route gets Downtown. The plan calls for all services on the first floor with STA offices on the second, along with meeting rooms and exhibit space.

The cost still needs to be determined. The STA board will decide in March if the group can move forward with planning. The group already knows the cost for a new transit center in the West Plains.

A park and ride and a direct connection for buses onto the freeway will be part of that $12 million project. They already have some of that money from federal funding and plan to ask the state for the rest.

More than 4,000 people use the STA to get to Cheney each day. This new transit center would let bus riders get from one part of the West Plains to another nearby town without going into downtown.

STA staff said the new transit center would let them move more people without adding new buses or new routes.  Construction in the West Plains will start as improvements in Downtown are finishing up and STA leaders say it is important to keep up the tradition of helping people travel through the center of the city.

Early estimates for these projects have the improvements downtown finishing in 2016. The new transit center on the West Plains would finish 2018.

 

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