SPOKANE, Wash. - The new Spokane Transit Authority bus routes are in effect and some residents aren't too happy with the changes.
The STA underwent a major overhaul Sunday, eliminating six routes and changing the rest in some way. The changes come as the STA tries to reduce costs by an additional seven percent this year.
The plan included wiping out six routes: Route 30 along Francis, 31 along Garland, 41 at Latah, 46 along Altamont, 67 Medical Lake/Geiger, and 95 Millwood. The discontinued stops were picked up by other routes, which may increase the time it takes to get to your destination.
"It's a lot of headache really," William Wiggins, a frequent rider, said.
"We need this route," Wiggins added. Before Sunday, Wiggins could hop on a bus along route 46 right by his apartment.
Jason Harris just moved to town and soon after his bus route moved as well. "Now I have to walk about a quarter mile, three blocks away," Harris said.
Come winter, the former California resident is a bit worried. "Being that it is going to be snowing I am not really prepared for it and it is kind of nice to know I could just be in my living room and walk out to the bus," Harris said. But that is no longer the case. Route 46 was discontinued Sunday.
Other people in the area echo the same concerns about the winter months. "The winter is an issue because of the fact that there are other individuals with electric wheelchairs that need access," Juanita Wolff said, regarding the elimination of route 46.
STA CEO Susan Meyer says the reason for the reduction in service is one we all know well; times are tough. STA depends on revenue from sales tax, bus fares and the federal government and all three are struggling.
?Though we know some people are going to lose service, we've been able to create better connectivity and service times,? Meyer said, regarding the improved services to select routes.
Even though STA has trimmed routes, Meyer said they actually made them better.
"We have our fingers crossed, we're still saving money everywhere we can, and hoping sales tax will tick up," Meyer said.
To find out how your STA route has changed, either call 328-RIDE or visit SpokaneTransit.com.