Why plan for the future?

Great cities plan ahead. You may know that public transit leads to increased pedestrian activity and contributes to healthy neighborhoods. But did you know that public transit also encourages smart growth and economic development, and is the foundation of many magnificent cities?

With more jobs and people on the way – over 165,000 more residents by 2040 – our community has made it clear to Spokane Transit that it is ready to continue building the transit network to support a growing population and economy.

Based on years of input from citizens and technical preparation, Spokane Transit is proposing a plan that aims to maintain the existing transit system while adding more resources where needed to improve service levels throughout the region. The plan includes two High Performance Transit lines, extended hours, expanded service to new areas, and new or enhanced park and rides, transit centers, passenger shelters, and bike amenities. This plan is estimated to increase fixed route ridership by more than 3.4 million rides a year by 2024; more than a 30% increase over today.

Public transit leads to wonderful places, and you are encouraged to join the conversation to help plan for more and better bus service in the beautiful Spokane region. Please visit this site regularly for information and updates.


Upcoming Projects

Spokane Transit proposes to improve the regional transit system by enhancing fixed route bus, Paratransit and vanpool services. These new services would increase ridership and economic vitality for the region and positively impact nearly every resident and visitor.

STA provides more than 11.7 million rides throughout the Spokane region on three distinct, but integrated services. More than 80% of the Public Transportation Bene­fit Area’s (PTBA) urbanized population is located within 1/2 mile of basic fixed route service and roughly 82% of the PTBA population has been a customer of Spokane Transit.

Paratransit services provide more than 430,000 shared rides each year for individuals whose disabilities prevent them from using the regular fixed route buses. Additionally, STA’s commuter vanpool vans provide more than 240,000 passenger trips each year on long distance commutes of 20, 40 or even 100 plus miles daily.



1 Extend Saturday night service past 11 pm.

Spokane Transit consistently receives requests for later Saturday night service so that people can attend a concert, late dinner with friends or a movie and be able to take the bus home. In response, this plan extends Saturday night service for more opportunities for people to use transit on the weekends.

2 Optimize fixed route service in response to continuing customer feedback

STA has worked hard with the region’s cities to learn about your transit needs now and into the future. The list of improvement that you identified include enhanced service with more hours, more often, more connections, better amenities like new and expanded Park & Ride lots for commuters, more shelters, three-position bike racks on buses and real-time technology.

3 Add and improve service in West Central Spokane

This plan proposes to create better frequency through the West Central neighborhood and allow for north/south connections to occur throughout the city without having to go downtown. For example, West Central residents will be able to go to a nearby grocery store without transferring at the Plaza.

4 Add better weekend service on Wellesley Avenue in North Spokane

On Saturdays, Route 33 is currently an hourly service on Wellesley. Route 33 serves as a crosstown connection for customers traveling in north Spokane and the frequency is often inadequate to make many north-south connections. By improving the frequency, more people will be able to make more timely connections.

5 Add direct bus service between Airway Heights and Medical Lake

Enabled through the construction of the West Plains Transit Center (see project #19), a direct connection between Airway Heights and Medical Lake would allow West Plains residents to travel between cities on the West Plains without having to travel downtown. This route also restores service to Geiger and the Spokane Airport Business Park, supporting existing and potential businesses on the West Plains.

6 Add direct bus service between Logan Neighborhood and Lincoln Heights

A line between the Logan Neighborhood and Lincoln Heights enables a north-south connection east of Downtown Spokane without having to transfer at the Plaza. Additionally, this will enhance connections for people traveling east into the City of Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake.

7 Add new night and weekend bus service to Indian Trail

Currently, Route 23 does not run all day to the end of the line in Indian Trail. This means that more than 4,800 people residing within ¼ mile of Route 23 do not have night or weekend service. This plan would add service to Route 23 to meet Spokane Transit’s basic service standards to the end of the line at N Indian Trail Rd and W Blackfoot Ave.

8 Add new Sunday bus service on North Nevada Street

STA’s Comprehensive Plan specifies that STA shall provide the maximum possible span of service for its Basic System.  Under this plan, Route 28 requires service that lasts until 10pm on Saturdays and 9pm on Sundays. More than 9,700 people within ¼ mile of this route have regular bus service on weekdays but would greatly benefit from extended weekend service.

9 East Indiana and Mission and South Liberty Lake: Add new service

New Development in Spokane Valley
New Development in Spokane Valley

New apartment, office and medical developments along Indiana, east of Sullivan Road, would see new service as a result of numerous requests from Valley residents and employees. Adding this service will allow existing routes to provide more and better service to the area southwest of Liberty Lake.

10 Improve routes and frequency to Hillyard/Northeast Spokane

Adding frequency and capacity to Route 27 will reduce overcrowding during peak periods of the day. This addition will also foster ridership growth in the Hillyard community.

11 Improve Spokane Valley service with added service between Spokane Valley Mall and Greenacres

12 More trips and buses to Airway Heights during busy travel times

Bus service to Airway Heights is nearing capacity.  With expected growth in population and jobs on the West Plains, more bus trips are required to meet the demand. Enhancing Route 61, a future High Performance Transit corridor, will meet current and future demands by adding trips in peak periods and on weekends.

13 Create a new south commuter express from the Moran Prairie Park and Rid

The last regional travel shed lacking a commuter express service, the southside travel shed would receive a commuter line traveling from the future Moran Prairie Park and Ride to Downtown Spokane. This would serve commuters during the peak period and support the creation of the North Monroe-South Regal Line by alleviating some of the peak demand.

14 Reinstate Liberty Lake Express with intermediate stops

15 Build the Moran Prairie Park and Ride for bus layover and passengers from South Spokane County.

This facility, planned to be located near the intersection of 57th Avenue and the Palouse Highway, would be a terminal and park and ride facility for existing and future bus service. The park and ride is expected to draw commuters from southeast Spokane traveling to employment centers within Spokane. Additionally, this facility could be used as a gathering point for vanpool commuters who are traveling throughout the region.

16 Construct a new Liberty Lake Park and Ride with over 300 parking stalls for commuters

The existing Liberty Lake Park and Ride is often overflowing as there are not enough parking spaces to accommodate demand. A new park and ride with more than 300 parking spaces will be built to replace the existing park and ride and support transit network enhancements that will allow more customers to access transit service.

17 Construct a new Mirabeau Transit Center with expanded passenger and vehicle capacity

Since its original construction, the Mirabeau Point Park and Ride has become more than a basic park and ride. It has become a focal point for transit transfer activity in the Valley as routes from the east, west and south converge. To meet growing needs, this transit center needs to be relocated and/or expanded. This expansion will offer more capacity for transit vehicles and more parking spaces for customers.

18 Construct an expanded transit center at Spokane Community College (Upriver Transit Center)

The improved Upriver Transit Center could be located adjacent to or within the Spokane Community College (SCC) campus. The existing transit facility on the SCC campus is undersized for growing transit demands and is challenged by the increasing traffic congestion on Greene Street. The new facility in this area would enhance transit customers’ ability to make connections to other routes and improve safety.

19 Construct the West Plains Transit Center to connect West Plains communities and provide a park and ride for commuters

This facility, located at Exit 272 of I-90, will address several transportation issues on the West Plains. Currently transit customers are required to travel to Downtown Spokane to make a connection between any of the cities on the West Plains. This transit center would allow customers to change buses on the West Plains, saving time. The facility would include a park and ride for commuters, utilizing existing service between Spokane and Cheney efficiently.

Additional Information

20 Expand and replace the existing bus fleet in line with growth and life-cycle requirements

A significant portion of this plan includes the replacement of the existing and aging bus fleet of Spokane Transit. Typically, Spokane Transit operates a bus for 18 years, keeping it in a good state of repair and utilizing the asset as effectively as possible. While repairs and preventative maintenance can extend vehicle life, there is a point where the vehicle needs to be replaced. In addition to the expansion of the fleet by 20 vehicles, this plan will replace older vehicles with new and more efficient vehicles.

21 Expand and upgrade maintenance facilities to meet existing and projected growth requirements

22 Expand Paratransit service as demand and service area grow

As a part of this plan, paratransit service, a wheelchair-accessible shared-ride transportation service for people whose disability prevents them from using the regular fixed route buses, will expand with the basic fixed route system. This plan will help Spokane Transit meet the demands of the community as the population continues to grow and shift toward an older demographic. Without additional resources, this will be a major challenge over the coming decades.

23 Improve waiting areas and provide an additional 75 sheltered stops and stations

24 Increase bike capacity on the bus fleet

25 Increase the fleet and use of Vanpool

Spokane Transit provides vans that are shared by people who live and work in approximately the same areas and can commute together to a place of employment. The driver is one of the commuters and the group pays for operating costs of the van. One end of the journey, either the origin or destination, must be within the Public Transportation Benefit Area. This plan supports the expansion of vanpool services throughout the region as they have proven to be a cost effective way to transport people who either live or work outside of Spokane Transit’s fixed route system to where they need to travel.

26 Install short-term rentable bike lockers

27 Create a frequent HPT “Lite” bus line from North Monroe to South Regal with more sheltered stops

This line would be created by combining some of Spokane Transit’s most successful routes to create a line that directly connects north and south Spokane. Supporting several planned and existing transit and pedestrian- oriented places, this line would feature frequent service, expanded hours and improved passenger amenities. As this line develops, or as grant funding becomes available, this line will be eligible for full High Performance Transit enhancements.

28 Improve reliability for bus service on Division and Sprague

The Sprague Line will see passenger amenity improvements throughout the corridor. Consistent with revitalization efforts along East Sprague in the City of Spokane and requests of business owners in the City of Spokane Valley, improved passenger amenities would support continued growth of the Sprague Line. In the interim, Route 90 will no longer layover at the Plaza, improving reliability and enhancing transit operations at the Plaza.

29 Improve service along I-90 between Spokane and Liberty Lake via Spokane Valley to HPT “Lite” including new night and weekend service

30 Liberty Lake Line, South Valley and Future Kootenai County Service

Today, Liberty Lake and the City of Spokane Valley have express transit service to downtown Spokane during the morning and afternoon peak periods, reduced mid-day service and no express service on nights and weekends. The creation of this line would provide all-day freeway service between Liberty Lake, the City of Spokane Valley and downtown Spokane. Additionally, the line would serve an improved Mirabeau Transit Center and an expanded/relocated Liberty Lake Park and Ride.

For one of the most requested service additions, the plan proposes to test the ridership case for long-term investments in the connectivity and future corridor of Spokane to Coeur d’Alene. If the pilot service proves to be successful, Spokane Transit may continue to provide service bridging the state border, in partnership with local jurisdictions.

31 Pilot extension of HPT “Lite” service on I-90 East to Post Falls and Coeur d’Alene

32 Provide improved amenities and infrastructure for a reliable HPT “Lite” bus line on East Sprague Avenue

33 Use larger buses, provide more sheltered stops and sidewalks as part of HPT “Lite” on the North Division Line

The enhancement of Route 25 Division would add needed capacity by increasing the size of the buses and improving reliability of the route. The busiest route in the system would also see interim passenger amenity improvements until a High Performance Transit capacity study is complete. In the interim, Route 25 will no longer layover at the Plaza, improving reliability and enhancing Plaza transit operations.

34 High Performance Transit Network

A High Performance Transit Network (HPTN) is a series of local and regional transportation corridors providing all-day, two-way reliable and frequent service which offers speeds competitive to the private automobile and features improved amenities for passengers. As a whole, the HPT Network provides a higher level of mobility, allowing customers greater access to the public transportation system and the ability to reach more destinations. The essential goal of the HPT Network is to establish a high level of connectivity for fixed route service, as well as enhanced bus, paratransit and vanpool services.

STA has initiated a project to take a comprehensive look at defining this new level of service to include the development of specific branding components of this service including color schemes, HPTN specific route maps, logos, vehicle components, fare collection, shelter and stop components, and many other features of this new service. The public is encouraged to participate in the development of this new service.


Additional Information

35 Implement frequent and convenient HPT service on the Central City Line and change how bus loading occurs at the STA Plaza

At the core of the future High Performance Transit Network is the Central City Line (CCL). The CCL will be a new six-mile route between Spokane’s historic Browne’s Addition and Spokane Community College, connecting through Downtown Spokane, the University District and Gonzaga University.  This project is Spokane region’s response to a community desire for a streetcar and a circulator in the urban core.  The vehicle will be a modern, rubber-tired, battery electric vehicle with zero-emissions, rechargeable through inductive or conductive charging.

The CCL is designed to greatly reduce traffic congestion, while providing fast, frequent and convenient access to a vast variety of local schools and businesses. Additionally, the Central City Line will change transit operations at the downtown Plaza by significantly reducing dwell times.  Operating the line with high frequency enables an enhanced network where fewer routes travel downtown and to the Plaza.

The CCL has three distinct components:, Project Development, the Strategic Overlay Planning effort and the Steering Committee.

Click here for more information.

36 Implement HPT service on the Cheney Corridor, expanding service capacity, quality and reliability

Implementation of High Performance Transit between Cheney and Downtown Spokane will enhance service on the West Plains by improving the frequency, hours of service, passenger amenities and the operation of an enhanced bus along the path of current Route 66 Cheney. Additionally, the West Plains Transit Center would be constructed and Route 62 Medical Lake would be modified to serve the Transit Center, creating all-day connections between Cheney, Airway Heights and Medical Lake, eliminating the need to travel to downtown Spokane.


The Benefits

Whether you ride the bus or not, nearly every resident and visitor throughout the Spokane region will be impacted by these proposed changes.  Some can sell that second car; others will find commuting quicker and parking easier; all will breathe cleaner air.  Businesses will gain access to customers who choose to ride transit, and their employees will have improved access to get to work.  Students, young professionals and families will be able to explore new areas in the region economically.

Spokane Transit provides over 11 million rides each year; up to 40,000 rides each day. In the next 25 years, the population of the Spokane region is expected to increase by 165,000 and demand for public transportation will grow right along with it. That is why this plan contains many projects to add frequency or add larger buses to areas where more capacity is needed, increasing fixed route ridership by more than 3.4 million rides annually to an estimated 14.5 million rides by 2024.

Without this plan and an increase in revenue, Spokane Transit will be required to cut service and expect a substantial ridership decrease. Over the past several years, STA has worked with the community to make important decisions and envision the future of public transportation.

With this plan in place, Spokane Transit will be ready to meet the future. That’s how a great city moves and how to keep the Spokane region moving forward for years to come.



The Funding

The construction of this plan is founded on conservative financial revenue projections, as well as conservative expectations for capital and operating expenses over the next 10-15 years.

Spokane Transit receives revenue from passenger fares, advertising, grants and sales tax revenue.

Passenger Fares The STA Board of Directors is considering an increase in passenger fares to maintain an equitable funding balance between revenue from ridership and revenue from local sales tax. The Board previously approved a 20/80 revenue policy stating that revenue from regular bus ridership should account for 20% of the full cost of that service. The potential fare increase would bring STA back into compliance with that board policy. STA will conduct a thorough public outreach process in the spring and summer of 2016 to gather public feedback on the issue.

Advertising Revenue from advertising accounts for less than 1/10th of 1% of STA’s total budget.

Grants In addition to federal formula grants, Spokane Transit has a successful history of winning competitive grant opportunities. Spokane Transit was recently awarded $15 million for the Central City Line project in the 2015 Transportation Revenue package.

Sales Tax Based on current projections, the STA Moving Forward 10-year plan could be funded with a 0.2% increase in the local sales tax rate. That is 0.1% lower than STA’s Proposition 1, which sought a rate of 0.3%. That measure narrowly failed by less than 600 votes. 0.2% is equal to one-fifth of one penny on $1 dollar. Over a 10-year period, a 0.2% increase would generate approximately $215 million.

The People


I am driven

to help our youth.

As a pre-school assistant teacher in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program at Lincoln Heights Elementary, I ride STA from Liberty Lake to work on the South Hill each day. Riding the bus just makes sense. I don’t worry about bad weather. It’s very economical and convenient, and I can focus on teaching instead of the traffic.

Lisa Hackathorn
ECEAP Pre-School Assistant Teacher
Driven by STA Route 174


I am driven

to teach English as a second language.

Three days a week, I board STA to ride downtown to teach English as a second language. And every time, I bring a book. I could drive, but it’s costly and hard on the car. I always feel safe, and last year I finished 43 books while riding the bus. STA gives me the freedom to teach. And on my way there, the freedom to learn.

Lorraine Halverson
English Teacher
Driven by STA Route 174


I am driven

to create a community of art and ideas.

As the founder of both Terrain (a multi-media art and music event) and Fellow (a downtown coworking space), I am focused on the creative future of our community. Spokane Transit is part of that vision. I’m on Route 44 all the time, and can accomplish everything I need to do during the ride. I’m driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, and by STA.

Luke Baumgarten
Co-founder, Terrain
Driven by STA Route 44


I am driven

to save money for a new home for my family.

Living with my husband and two kids in an apartment, I knew Spokane Transit would be the key to helping us save for a home of our own. All four of us rode the bus for school, work, shopping—everything. In just 18 months, we were able to save enough for our own home and move out of the apartment. I am driven by my family’s future, and by STA.

Natasha Shallbetter
Driven by STA Route 44

I am driven

to make a difference.

As an English Instructor at Spokane Community College, I look forward to arriving at class every day. And I’m inspired to do it in a way that makes our planet healthier. The Spokane Transit racks make it easy to ride my bike and use the bus instead of adding pollution to the air. I’m driven to travel by two wheels, and I’m driven by STA.

Betsy Lawrence
SCC Instructor
Driven by STA Route 44

I am driven

to be a great role model.

As a Dad with two foster girls, I feel a major responsibility to do what I can to better the environment. So by riding the bus, I help reduce congestion and air pollution, and I increase the likelihood that my daughters will do the same throughout their lives. I’m driven to keep my family healthy, and I’m driven by STA.

Ray Seely, Director of Feasibility
Red Lion Hotels
Driven by STA Route 174

I am driven

to life beyond dialysis.

I visit the dialysis clinic three days a week. For more than five years, Spokane Transit has taken me there, dropping me off right in front of the clinic. I can concentrate on my appointments – not on the hassle of getting to them. I really couldn’t do it without Spokane Transit. I’m driven to live life to the fullest, and I’m driven by STA.

View Kyle’s Video

Kyle Sullivan
Driven by STA Route 02

I am driven

to live a healthy lifestyle.

I ride the bus for a lot of reasons, but the two most important are health and environment. Taking transit is one simple step in my effort to stay fit, and it’s an added bonus that it helps reduce pollution. I get four quick walks in on my way to and from work, and one less car on the road is my contribution to clean Spokane air. I’m driven to stay healthy, and I’m driven by STA.

Vic Rapez-Betty, Program Coordinator,
People to People Ambassador Programs
Driven by STA Route 60

Give Feedback

Together, over the next several months, we’ll continue to outline a great plan for the future of public transportation in our region. That way we’ll be ready to meet demand for additional transit services when the time is right.

That’s how we’ll keep our great city moving for years to come.

To provide feedback, please call 509.343.1659 to leave a message, contact us through our Facebook page or Twitter page, fill out the form, or take the survey. We look forward to hearing from you.

The Documents