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Transit Expert Gets Spokane Leaders Moving

Transportation officials in Spokane want other community leaders on board with expanding public transit. So, on Monday the Spokane Transit Authority held a leadership summit on their 10 year plan “STA Moving Forward”.

STA brought in Jarrett Walker of Jarrett Walker and Associates, who was a consultant for Spokane transportation plans in the 1990’s. Walker says the future of transit in Spokane hinges on the balance of funding for urban and non-urban routes.

Walker: “There’s the ridership goal and then there’s this competing coverage goal, and coverage is really the service you provide in order to make everyone feel included, in order to provide lifeline access to people who may be in all kinds of places and not have options. About 80 percent of STA’s service is where it would be if ridership were its goal."

But he says the other 20 percent is fiercely defended and requested by people who depend on the service.

STA spokesperson Brandon Rapez-Betty says the STA board votes on the plan in December. STA Moving Forward will eventually require a point-three percent increase in the local sales tax, on top of an anticipated 75-million dollars in grants, and money brought in from bus riders. It’s a comprehensive plan aimed at preparing Spokane for a growing population.

Copyright 2014 Spokane Public Radio

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