City of Spokane Could Vote on Transit Funding After Failed Countywide Measure

Following in the footsteps of Seattle, which recently followed a similar narrative arc, the city of Spokane will go back to the ballot for transportation funding, leaving the county of Spokane to its own devices.
January 25, 2016, 2pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Mike Proger reports: "The city of Spokane could go it alone in building a new Central City Line and other transit improvements, after a regionwide sales tax increase to pay for those projects narrowly failed last April."

"The 0.3 percent sales tax measure in 2015 failed by just 572 votes out of 76,800 that were cast. Opposition was strongest in suburban areas, including Spokane Valley," adds Proger.

The new ballot measure would appear before voters in November—if it passes, "expanded transit service likely would occur only inside the city."

Proger also shares details of the centerpiece of the 2015 ballot measure, the Central City Line, which "would use rubber-tire trolley cars from Browne’s Addition through downtown and east to Gonzaga University and Spokane Community College." Local officials are pitching the line as a service expansion in the most densely populated parts of Spokane, as well as an economic development tool. The article includes more of the funding details and political context for the plan.

For more details on the proposals rejected by the rest of the county of Spokane, see coverage by Zach Shaner of the Seattle Transit Blog.

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Published on Sunday, January 17, 2016 in The Spokesman-Review
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