Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Writer Wants Expanded STA Service To Cheney

Spokesman-Review Letters To The Editor
Cheney needs later bus runs

Spokane Transit Authority should provide later running buses between Cheney and Spokane to accommodate Cheney residents who work, attend night classes and seek entertainment in Spokane.

Cheney is home to Eastern Washington University, the fastest growing university in the state. Cheney’s population has been consistently expanding since the mid 1990s, even doubling during fall through spring. Yet, during the week, the last bus from Spokane to Cheney leaves the Plaza at 10:20 p.m., causing innumerable complications for the Cheney resident who works a night shift.

Many students who take classes during the day work nights in Spokane (where more part-time and after-hours jobs are available). On the weekend, the last bus to leave the Spokane bus plaza is at 9:20 p.m., an hour earlier.
Not only is this schedule inconvenient, it is potentially dangerous. When 2 a.m. rolls around and people are leaving the bars, buses have long since stopped running. Unfortunately, instead of taking a taxi (which are limited, outrageously expensive and completely out of the question for a student budget), people drive intoxicated.
STA can rectify this problem by providing buses from Spokane to Cheney up until midnight on weekdays, and no earlier than 2 a.m. on weekends.

Brittney Deutsch

I've been saying the same thing about the Liberty Lake route for a while now but what it comes down to is funding. There's just not enough money to keep buses running all the time in every area. If I remember correctly, in a conversation a while back with Karl Otterstrom, STA's Director of Planning, I thought he said they might be looking at the possibility of expanding service to Cheney. He acknowledged it's one of their busiest routes during the regular school year and I think he said they're looking into it. The last bus on my route runs at 6:20 p.m. How about you?


Charles Hansen said...

Well when they enhanced service in the valley we got cut here in north Spokane. Now the quickest bus from downtown is 6 blocks from my house, before they enhanced the service it stopped a block from my house, there is a closer one but it takes 20 minutes longer to get within a block of my house. Both leave the Plaza at 11:20 for the last run. I try not to be walking in my neighborhood that late.

SRTC Staff said...

Wow, 11:20 is pretty late which is nice, but you're right, I try not to be walking ANYWHERE at 11:20 at night anymore.

And I was wrong, the enhancements Karl was telling us about are for the Browne's Addition/West Plains/Airport areas, but don't go all the way to Cheney.

They include 30 minute direct service from Downtown to the Airport, service to the Northern Quest Casino every 30 minutes, better service to the Correctional Center & Raceway Park, and direct service to Medical Lake hospitals, etc.

The changes go into effect in September.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.