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Spokane Transit Interview: Fare Increases and Electric Buses

On Saturday, the cost of riding a bus in Spokane County will go up.

"The new fare increase is a 25 cents for the regular adult fare from $1.50 for a two-hour pass to $1.75. And I say a two-hour pass because it’s good on any route for a two-hour period,” Otterstrom said.

That’s Karl Otterstrom, the director of planning and development for Spokane Transit.

It’s the first part of a two-part fare increase. The second part will come a year from now, to two dollars. The cost of one-day passes will increase from $3.50 to $4 this year, with no increase next year. Fares for paratransit customers who buy the One Ride pass will also increase 25 cents this year to $1.75 and 25 cents next. Monthly passes will increase from $45 to $50 this year and up to $60 next year. One new feature is a seven-day pass, which debuts with a $15 cost.

Otterstrom says the fare hike was approved last year. It allows the agency to keep with its policy of having customers pay about 20-percent of the costs of operating the system.

Spokane Transit is adjusting and adding routes. Its proposed central city route from Browne’s Addition to Spokane Community College is perhaps the best known. And the agency will break ground next month on a new transit center on the West Plains. It’s also looking ahead to how future buses will be powered.