SPOKANE, Wash. - On Tuesday, voters overwhelmingly approved Spokane Proposition 1, increasing Spokane County's sales tax to fund Spokane Transit Authority's growth plan, "STA Moving Forward."
More than 55 percent of voters approved the proposition, allowing STA to offer extended service, more frequent trips, and the implementation of more routes.
The changes will benefit many, including 85-year-old Dorene. The Spokane native is giving up her license soon.
"I hated to do it," Dorene said. "I've been ill and I knew I couldn't keep driving, and I thought about it and thought about it."
Dorene voted for Proposition 1 so she'll have more options when she trades in her car keys for a bus pass.
"It would be nice to be able to get farther out of town and it's going to be new to me," said Dorene.
The plan increases local sales tax by a tenth of a penny on the dollar starting next April, and then by another tenth in April of 2019. It amounts to about $24 per household per year.
This is a ten year plan, so 25 projects will be implemented over the next decade. The first phase of projects will start happening in May of 2017.
"Reducing travel times, making direct connections, just making transit more convenient people during peak travel times, that's the goal of the plan," said STA's Brandon Rapez-Betty.
Come May, you'll see more frequent trips in Airway Heights, increased service to N. Nevada, and late-night service on Saturdays.
STA says the plan provides more options for people who want to get around our area.
"Whether they're millennials who want to keep their options open for how to get around or if it's seniors who don't want to have to drive," said Rapez-Betty.
For people like Dorene, it couldn't have come at a better time.
"My kids have been driving me around," Dorene said. "This is going to make them very happy."
The second wave of projects will start in September 2017.
To see the full plan and a time line of the projects, click here.