Welcome to the Spokane Transit Newsroom
We at STA want to respond to the needs of Spokane citizens, and that's part of why we're launching a social media news room. It's a place where we'll provide open and transparent information about meetings, finances, planning and more. Some information will be textual reports, some will be photos and charts, some will be audio, some will be moving images.
For media inquiries, please contact Communications Manager Molly Myers at 509-325-6090 (o) or 509-435-3711 (c).
January 03, 2013
SPOKANE TRANSIT EXPERIENCES RECORD RIDERSHIP
SPOKANE, WA – Spokane Transit Authority (STA) provided over 11 million rides on fixed-route buses in 2012 – which ranks as the third highest annual total ridership in the agency’s history.
This impressive ridership total comes just one year after the agency completed a multi-year phase-out in 2011 of nearly 10 percent of bus service. This means that the typical bus route is carrying more people on a daily basis than at any other time in STA’s history and standing loads are more common throughout the system than ever before.
Vanpool participation also grew more than eight percent in 2012 and now provides about 250,000 annual trips for local commuters.
Through the Mobility Training Program and the new In-Person Assessment, growth on costly Paratransit service was controlled to 2006 service levels with virtually no reduction in the areas we serve. Paratransit is a door-to-door van transportation service for people who are disabled, and because of their disabilities, are not able to use the regular bus service. Mobility Training is a program that helps seniors and persons with disabilities gain more independence by assisting them in becoming fixed route bus riders.
Sales tax makes up approximately 68 percent of the agency’s operating revenue. Spokane Transit delivers over 20% more service for the taxpayer dollar than other urban system in Washington State. STA is second only to King County in the number of passengers carried per hour of service delivered in large urban areas and provides the most efficient Paratransit service of all urban systems in the State.
“We are proud of our accomplishments and will continue to strive for excellence in service delivery and operational efficiencies. We also wish to thank the community and the thousands of riders who use public transportation to go to work, school and participate in civic life.” said E. Susan Meyer, STA CEO.
November 27, 2012
NEW MOBILITY CENTER OPENS AT STA PLAZA
SPOKANE, WA – Spokane Transit has opened a new Mobility Center on the second floor of The Plaza located at 701 W. Riverside in downtown Spokane.
The Mobility Center provides a central location for assessing customer eligibility for STA’s Paratransit service, including facilities for in-person interviews and assessments and for the Mobility Training program.
Paratransit is a door-to-door public transportation service provided by STA for people who are disabled, and, who because of the effects of their disabilities, are not able to ride the regular bus some or all of the time and live within the Paratransit service area. Paratransit eligibility is determined through an application and assessment process. Physical and cognitive assessments will now take place at the new Mobility Center.
Through one-on-one or group training, Spokane Transit’s Mobility Trainers help seniors and persons with disabilities gain more independence by assisting them to learn how to ride the regular, fixed route bus. Spokane Transit contracts with Paratransit Inc. to provide the service. For further information regarding the program, please call 509-232-6303.
STA provides public transportation services through fixed route (bus) operations, paratransit operations and vanpool. The agency employs more than 500 people and is overseen by a regional board of 10 members, comprised of nine elected officials from Spokane County and cities in the Public Transportation Benefit Area, and a non-voting labor member.
September 04, 2012
New Nationwide Freight Policy Council Announced
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood were in Spokane on August 23, to announce that the U.S. Department of Transportation is creating a nationwide Freight Policy Council. The Freight Policy Council will maximize investment and national focus on key freight projects like the North Spokane Corridor. The announcement took place at the conclusion of a driving tour of the North Spokane Corridor. The North Spokane Corridor is a key freight route in Eastern Washington. Each year, $13.5 billion (7.2 million tons) of freight moves along the corridor.
Pictured (from left): E. Susan Meyer, STA CEO, Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary, Maria Cantwell, U.S. Senator for Washington, Paula Hammond, WSDOT Secretary, Keith Metcalf, Regional Administrator, WSDOT, Eastern Region.
May 31, 2012
CEO Appointed to National Board
SPOKANE, WA – May 18, 2012 – E. Susan Meyer, chief executive officer for Spokane Transit, has been elected to the board of the Transit Development Corporation (TDC).
Established by the American Public Transportation Association, TDC is a national nonprofit educational and research organization that identifies, prioritizes and provides guidance on research projects involving public transportation.
Al French, chairman of the Spokane Transit Authority board of directors, said,
“STA is committed to providing a high quality public transit service to the community, which requires staying abreast of the latest transportation strategies and technologies. Ms. Meyer’s service on the TDC board means she will be at the forefront of helping to identify and evaluate new opportunities for public transit improvement, both nationally and in Spokane.”
“This appointment is further evidence that Ms. Meyer is recognized nationally as a leader in public transportation,” French added.
Meyer’s duties will include service on the Oversight and Project Selection Committee of the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), a related organization. TCRP works to develop innovative advancements for the public transportation industry. In this role, Meyer will be charged with helping to select research projects for the next fiscal year.
“I am honored to join with my peers in championing important, innovative and useful research that will improve public transportation in the United States, including in my favorite city, Spokane,” said Meyer. “I look forward to sharing our successes in Spokane and to learning about new strategies that can benefit STA and Spokane.”
Meyer was nominated by Sherry Little, a deputy and acting administrator of the Federal Transit Administration during the George W. Bush administration. Little is currently a principal of Spartan Solutions, an infrastructure development and management firm.
May 10, 2012
STA Open House
SPOKANE, WA –Spokane Transit will introduce “STA Moving Forward,” a series of planning conversations on the future of regional public transportation, at an open house on Wednesday, May 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. The event, which also features planning displays from The City of Spokane and Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC), is being held at The STA Plaza, 701 W. Riverside, in the 2nd floor rotunda.
STA staff will be on hand to show information on the vision for a High Performance Transit (HPT) Network. HPT refers to premium transit that provides all day, two-way, high frequency service in major corridors and to regional destinations.
Community input has already played a key role in helping to create a list of potential HPT projects to be developed over the next five-to-15 years. STA is now asking the public to help prioritize these projects and finalize plans for eventual HPT development.
“Our objective is simple: to work together with the community to plan the High Performance Transit Network of the future,” said E. Susan Meyer, STA CEO. “That way we’ll be ready to meet the demand for additional transit services when the time is right.”
For more information about STA Moving Forward, and to find opportunities to be involved in the conversations, visit www.stamovingforward.com.
“Great transportation doesn’t just happen,” Meyer said. “It takes a community working together.”
April 30, 2012
Local Organizations Benefit from STA Van Programs
SPOKANE, WA –Spokane Transit recently awarded 10 retired STA vans to local human service organizations, as part of its Surplus Van Grant program.
“This vehicle will greatly enhance our ability to serve our clients at The Artisans,” said Michael Bushebi, a job developer for The Artisans who was recently presented with keys to a van by E. Susan Meyer, STA’s Chief Executive Officer.
The Artisans is a non-profit agency that provides full service employment assistance for persons with disabilities. Prior to being awarded the van, all but two of the agency’s employed clients commuted to job sites using STA’s Paratransit services.
“We are extremely pleased that these vehicles will continue to be of service to those in our community with special transportation needs,” said Meyer.
The Surplus Van Grant program awards used vans to qualified human service organizations (HSO) serving Spokane County residents who are elderly or disabled, and/or low income. The HSO assumes ownership of the vehicle and is responsible for all related expenses.
World Relief Spokane has been serving the community for refugee reception and placement activities since 1992. Mark Kadel, the program’s director, was also on site at STA to accept a van for his organization.
“Our group expects to utilize this van to provide 2,448 passenger trips over the next year alone,” said Kadel. “A great many people in our region will be very appreciative of STA’s grant.”
Other 2012 Surplus Van Grant awardees include Habitat for Humanity, Hillyard Baptist Church, Mountainview Assembly of God, Crestline Church of the Nazarene, Spokane Christian Center, Meals on Wheels (City of Liberty Lake), West Central Community Center and Life, Inc.
March 30, 2012
STA Security Officer Honored
SPOKANE TRANSIT SECURITY OFFICER HONORED BY THE ARC OF SPOKANE
SPOKANE, WA – Spokane Transit Security Officer, Mike DeConto, was recently honored as the 2012 recipient of The Arc of Spokane’s Good Neighbor Award. Each year The Arc of Spokane honors a person in the community who makes exceptional efforts to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families.
“We are all very proud of Mike and the important contributions he makes to our community through his efforts with The Arc,” said E. Susan Meyer, STA CEO. “He is an outstanding citizen and STA security officer.”
DeConto was presented with the award during The Arc of Spokane’s annual meeting of members on March 27th.
“Mike’s exceptional work helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community utilize public transportation safely and effectively deserved to be recognized,” said Greg Falk, Executive Director for The Arc of Spokane.
DeConto was nominated by the teachers and students of the Community Images program for his work to keep the STA Plaza and city buses safe for all riders, but especially for people with disabilities. The veteran security officer also meets with students of the program to talk about safety when using public transportation and organizes the annual Safety Rally, which has become a valued event in the community.
“He is a great person and cares about us,” said one student about DeConto.
“I feel safe when he’s around,” added another.
March 21, 2012
STA Receives National Recognition for Safety
SPOKANE – Spokane Transit has received a national award for excellence in transit safety from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The Gold Standard Award was presented by Virginia Wise, Director – Grants Programs, Mass Transit and Passenger Rail Security, at Spokane Transit’s March 21 board meeting.
The Gold Standard Award is given to mass transit and passenger rail systems with strong security programs as evidenced by the high scores received on Base Assessment for Security Enhancement (BASE) reviews. BASE is a comprehensive review of a system’s security program, focusing on 17 categories identified by the transit community as fundamental for a sound transit security program.
“On behalf of TSA Administrator John Pistole, I am thrilled to be presenting this honor to Spokane Transit,” Wise said. “STA attained high scores across all 17 categories, with an overall average score of 95%. TSA considers this caliber of performance as deserving of special attention.”
“Safety has always been our top priority,” said Susan Meyer, STA CEO. “We are greatly honored that our work to assure the safe transportation of our customers is being recognized on a national level.”
Fewer than 15% of the transit systems reviewed in 2011 will receive a Gold Standard Award.
The TSA is a federal arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security charged with the mission of protecting American transportation systems and ensuring freedom of movement for people and commerce.
October 17, 2011
Spokane Transit Partners with Rosauers to Sell-31-day Bus Passes
SPOKANE TRANSIT PARTNERS WITH ROSAUERS TO SELL 31-DAY BUS PASSES
SPOKANE, WA – Getting your bus pass will soon be easier than ever, thanks to Spokane Transit’s new pass outlet program. Beginning November 1, select 31-Day passes will be available for purchase at Rosauers–owned stores throughout the Public Transportation Benefit Area.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer our customers the added convenience of purchasing bus passes at their neighborhood Rosauers stores, as well as Super One and Huckleberry’s,” said Susan Meyer, STA CEO.
Those wishing to purchase Adult, Youth or Reduced Fare 31-Day Passes at an STA Pass Outlet can do so at any of these Rosauers locations, all of which are on STA bus routes:
- 1808 W 3rd Avenue
- 10618 E Sprague Avenue
- 1724 W Francis Avenue
- 907 W 14th Avenue
- 2610 E 29th Avenue
- 9414 N Division Street
There is no additional charge for passes purchased at these outlets.
All other STA bus passes, including Paratransit Passes, must be purchased online, at The STA Plaza or the Bus Shop, Too at 1229 W. Boone Avenue.
September 14, 2011
Service Changes Effective September 18, 2011
STA SERVICE CHANGES EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 18, 2011
Although the changes were initiated to reduce operating costs by seven percent, many routes were reconfigured for overall system improvement. The final result is a more efficient and sustainable transportation system for the region.
“We understand the serious impact to those who lose service. All our planning was focused on minimizing that impact and still achieving the necessary cost reductions,” said Susan Meyer, STA CEO. “We are working hard to do our best with less.”
STA has been able to preserve most service until now because of careful planning and prudent financial policies. The organization is debt-free.
STA conducted extensive public outreach over the past year and invited people to share their ideas and concerns about the proposed changes. The final plan reflects many of the recommendations from the public, the board and STA employees.
Detailed information about the changes, including new route schedules and the system map, are available online at www.spokanetransit.comor by calling 509.328-RIDE (7433). Spokane Transit staff will be available to assist customers from 6:00 - 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 14, at The STA Plaza and at area Park & Ride lots as part of STA’s Rider Appreciation Day. Staff will also be available at The Plaza, the Valley Transit Center and at Spokane Community College locations on Monday, September 19, as the changes take effect for the weekly commute. Extra staff will also be available at The Plaza on Tuesday, September 20, and Wednesday, September 21.
June 17, 2011
Hoopfest Shuttles 2011
SPOKANE TRANSIT TO PROVIDE POPULAR HOOPFEST SHUTTLES
- The Hoopfest Shuttles run every ten minutes on Saturday from 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. and on Sunday from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Parking is free at all the designated shuttle lots. Look for the big blue STA signs along the route for stops.
- The Jefferson Loop Shuttle travels from the STA Jefferson Street Park & Ride lot to the west side of downtown on Lincoln Street. The Jefferson lot is under I-90, on Jefferson Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues.
- The Riverpoint Loop Shuttle travels from the parking lots at the WSU Riverpoint Campus on west Spokane Falls Blvd., and on N. Riverpoint Blvd., to the east side of downtown on Browne and Bernard Streets.
April 21, 2011
STA Board Approves Recommendation for 2011 Service Reductions
SPOKANE, WA–The Spokane Transit Board of Directors has approved a recommendation to reduce seven percent of STA’s current bus service beginning September 18, 2011. The decision was announced at last night’s board meeting.
“We are in our third straight year of significant reductions in sales tax revenue, which provides more than two thirds of our revenue,” said Susan Meyer, STA CEO. “We’re taking a major hit, like so many others. But we believe in the service we provide and are working hard to do our best with less.”
STA has been able to maintain service at the same level until now because of careful planning and prudent financial policies. The organization is debt-free. Unfortunately, the recession continues. Even if the economy starts to recover next year, STA will not return to 2007 sales tax revenue levels until early 2016 – an eight year period of reduced revenue that will never be re-captured.
STA conducted an extensive public process over the past year that provided ample opportunity for people to share their thoughts and ideas about the proposed service reductions.
Detailed information about the service reductions, including maps illustrating the new routing, are available online and will be displayed in the STA Education Center, located at The Plaza on the second floor rotunda, beginning April 25.
March 30, 2011
Internationally Acclaimed Transit Expert to Speak on the Future of Public Transportation
SPOKANE, WA–JohnInglish, CEO of Utah Transit Authority and internationally-recognized authority on public transportation, will present, “The Future of Public Transportation: Perspectives from Around the World,” on Wednesday, March 30th, at Spokane City Council Chambers (lower level). The presentation, which is open to the public, begins at 3:00 p.m.
Ingish is well-versed in transit modes and technologies from around the world and will share his perspective on those being considered in The Central City Transit Alternatives Analysis (CCTAA), a joint research project between STA and the City of Spokane. The CCTAA project, which focuses on a high performance transit service to connect major activity centers within the central city area, involves extensive research on several options to be covered by Inglish, including streetcar, enhanced bus and electric trolley – all of which fall under his expertise.
“We are very grateful to Mr. Inglish for sharing his profound insight on public transportation with our community,” said Susan Meyer, STA CEO. “His vision of the future of public transportation will help guide us in making responsible choices for developing transit in our own area.”
Inglish was pivotal to Salt Lake’s rise to transit prominence with a robust rail, bus and commuter rail system, as well as a new streetcar line now under development in the Sugarhouse District. Under his tenure as UTA general manager, Inglish secured funding and construction of more than $4 billion in rail infrastructure, of which, 70 miles of Light Rail and Commuter Rail are in place and operating. Another 70 miles are under construction and scheduled for completion by 2013. He also oversaw the negotiation for and purchase of the largest railroad corridor land acquisition by a transit agency in the United States.
Internationally recognized for his transit expertise and ability to make transit projects reality, Inglish serves as the U.S. representative on the Policy Board of the UITP, the international public transit association, and is the chair of the International Sustainability Commission of that association. UTA is one of only a handful of U.S. signatories to the International Charter on Transportation Sustainability along with more than 150 international transit organizations. UTA is also the only U.S. transit agency to be certified for Quality Performance Management (ISO 9001) and Environmental (ISO 14001).
March 16, 2011
Central City Mobility Open House
SPOKANE, WA– Spokane Transit, the City of Spokane and the University District will host the second Central City Mobility Open House on Tuesday, March 29, from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the Chase Gallery (808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. – lower level of City Hall).
STA will present an overview of the Central City Transit Alternatives Analysis (CCTAA), a joint research project between STA and the City of Spokane that focuseson a high performance transit service to connect major activity centers within the central city area. This project will deliberate on several options such as streetcar, enhanced bus and electric trolley.
One of the goals for the CCTAA is to help create a vibrant central city, by encouraging development while supporting local and regional business. The project will compare the environmental impacts of the transit options and look at ways to increase regional resources and transit mobility. The finished product will be a single preferred alternative that can be submitted for local, state and federal funding and proceed into project development. Essentially, this plan will create a blueprint for transit that will help guide future development in Spokane.
The open house is a convenient opportunity for citizens to learn about this and other mobility development projects under study for the downtown area, including the City’s University District Pedestrian / Bicycle Bridge and the East Sprague Redevelopment Study. Additionally, representatives from SRTC Transportation Vision, Smart Routes and Pedestrian Plan, Spokane RoadFix, city-led Surviving Construction, Complete Streets Coalition, Spokane UCommute, and other mobility projects will be available to provide information and answer questions.
“We are very excited to share the latest developments in our research on the Central City Transit Alternatives Analysis,” said E. Susan Meyer, STA CEO. “The open house provides a perfect opportunity to educate people on this important topic and gather their input.”
A short program from 5:00 to 5:15 p.m. will feature Mayor Mary Verner and facilitators from the various projects.
December 30, 2010
Spokane Transit and Google Partnership to Launch During First Night at the Plaza
Spokane Transit customers will soon have access to the latest and greatest in high-tech, online trip planning when STA’s long anticipated partnership with Google Transit officially launches at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 31st, during First Night activities at The STA Plaza.
Easily accessible on the Spokane Transit website or on Google Maps, Google Transit’s rich data integration seamlessly puts Spokane’s transit data in the context of other useful information, such as aerial imagery, business listings and street-level views – giving users a thorough understanding of a neighborhood before they ever set foot in it.
Spokane Transit’s participation in Google Transit is provided at no charge to the agency.
“As part of Google’s commitment to develop useful public-private partnerships, we are pleased to welcome Spokane Transit to Google Transit,” said Jessica Wei, Strategic Partner Development Manager at Google. “This partnership shows STA’s commitment to innovating, serving their riders and attracting new riders.”
Additional benefits of Google Transit include the ability to access transit information from mobile devices, customize routes, get walking directions and use business or place names instead of addresses. Google Transit can also generate an output that is compatible with screen readers for visually impaired users.
STA’s original online trip planner will still be accessible from the agency’s web site.
“We are very excited about STA’s partnership with Google Transit, said E. Susan Meyer, STA CEO. “It’s easy to use and we think our customers will love it.”
Spokane City Councilman and STA Board Member, Jon Snyder, is set to participate in the celebration.