SPOKANE, Wash — A project that has been in the works for many years is now just a little over two months away from transporting people around Spokane.
Spokane Transit Authority officials say that their latest project will change transportation in the city. The transit authority is set to roll out 60-foot electric-powered buses on July 15. Last week, the first test riders got the chance to experience what these buses bring to the table.
Jason Harris is an expert when it comes to navigating the roads in Spokane. He has been behind the wheel for STA for five years. During that time, he learned different routes and helped thousands of riders reach their destination. That is why he has been tapped to get behind the wheel of City Line, one of the newest projects in Spokane.
Harris has been training for months on a route that will run from Browne’s Addition to Spokane Community College. The six-mile stretch is aimed at creating more accessible transportation through key areas like Gonzaga, the University District, and downtown.
Chief Communications Specialist for Spokane Transportation Authority, Carly Cortright said, “It’s been a long time coming. About 10 years in planning and it was delayed by the pandemic.”
STA believes the new buses will not only provide a smoother ride for residents, but they anticipate City Line will also help reduce congestion on the roads. Cortright said, “We don’t have to be dependent on our cars. We can ride public transit and get to places a lot easier and not have to worry about the hassle.”
After the launch, City Line is set to have 15-minute pickup intervals most hours of the day with the frequency increasing next year.
As for drivers like Jason, he says the new changes like the fully electric features and new technology are ones he’s welcomed with open arms. “Trying to do our part to not only provide the best service we can with these wonderful new buses but we’re also leaving a lot less of a footprint this way,” said Harris.
The charging for the new buses uses overhead connectors like the one at Spokane Community College. STA says the new chargers are three times faster than traditional plug-in charging.
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