STA expected to bring electric buses to Spokane by 2021

STA expected to bring electric buses to Spokane by 2021 (2-2-18)

SPOKANE, Wash. -- In 2016, Spokane voters approved funding for Spokane Transit Authority to make major upgrades to their bus system.    

One big part of their plan is the Central City Line. A new route with more efficient, electric buses that runs from Spokane Community College to Browns Addition. STA is holding an online open house so people can check out the plans.

"The project itself has been around for more than a decade," said Director of Planning and Development Karl Otterstrom. 

After a decade, Spokane Transit Authority officials said they are just a few years away from the Central City Line welcoming it is first customers. The new six-mile bus route would run from Browns Addition, through the University District and on to Spokane Community College. The buses would run on electricity and will look and operate more like trains.

"All the doors in the vehicle can open up and get people on and off quickly so it spends more time moving and less time waiting for customers at the stops," Otterstorm said. 

STA officials said it should cut down drastically on the time riders have to wait at stops. The idea is to get more people using public transportation and getting them places they need to go quickly and easily.  

"Those improvements help what is really a growing region thrive we get more dense and get more people and more people who want to have more travel options," Otterstorm explained. 

The project is estimated to cost about $72 million. A majority of that is anticipated to come from a federal grant. Right now, STA officials are asking for the public's help in the design process. They have set up an online open house to show off some ideas and get your input. If all goes well, the Central City Line should be ready for riders in 2021.

© 2018 KREM-TV


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