Spokane Transit Authority's City Line

Monday, January 27, 2020

Project Description

The City Line is a six-mile, corridor-based Bus Rapid Transit route connecting Browne’s Addition to Spokane Community College by way of Downtown Spokane and the University District. It will be a modern-style electric bus estimated to provide over 1 million rides per year. It will feature more frequent trips and convenient elements like pre-board ticketing, level boarding and improved stations with real-time signage, wayfinding and other amenities.

The concept of the City Line has been discussed, evaluated and planned for by community partners for over 15 years. It has been customized for the needs of Spokane, reflecting cost-effectiveness and flexibility. It will provide earlier and later service seven days a week – making it a viable transit option in the busiest commercial corridors, especially for commuters.

High-performance transit systems create positive economic impacts for communities. As a first installment for the region, the City Line is projected to increase land and improvement values by $175 million over 20 years. Some examples of the project’s positive economic impact include increased foot traffic from higher density development, reduced travel times, and parking and traffic congestion mitigation. Additionally, the City Line will streamline transit in the Downtown corridor and allow for other system-wide improvements, like more transfer stations outside of the city core.

Benefits

In addition to the growth in ridership and a positive economic impact, the City Line will include other benefits like significant streetscape and road improvements, distinctly branded and permanent stations, and innovative electric charging infrastructure. Combined, these elements provide a sense of permanence that indicates a long-term commitment to mobility and economic development along the corridor. Additionally, the City Line’s zero-emissions propulsion system will provide an ongoing environmental benefit through cleaner air and quieter buses. An economic study completed in 2014 estimates, over a 20-year period the projected increase to surrounding land and improvement values will increase by $175 million.

Project Cost and Funding

The estimated project cost is $92.231 million, including vehicles, design, construction management and other support services. STA has received $3.575 million in State and Federal funding to complete planning and engineering services for the project. In June of 2015, the Washington State Legislature and Governor approved $15 million for construction. In April 2019, the FTA awarded $53.425 million for the project subject to an approved a Small Starts Grant Agreement. In July 2019, the STA Board approved an additional $20.231 million, which represents the total local share of the construction costs for the project.