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Spokane - August 2011

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Spokane — ETBs Chosen Over Streetcars

Rail Transit Online, August 2011

The city council has voted 6-1 to support electric trolley buses (ETB) over streetcars and conventional buses for a proposed transit corridor between Browne's Addition and the University District. Streetcars were among three modes studied during an alternatives analysis but the high cost of the rail option, an estimated $100 million versus $36 million for ETBs, convinced lawmakers to select the latter.

Spokane Transit Authority CEO Susan Meyer said the next step will be more detailed cost and ridership studies and creating a plan to integrate the new system with the existing bus network. That will be followed by a ballot measure to approve a sales tax increase to pay for the ETBs.

The preferred route would run about four miles (6.4 km), starting at Browne's Addition and following Pacific Avenue, Sprague or First Avenue, Post or Wall streets, Main or Riverside avenues, Spokane Falls Boulevard and Hamilton or Cincinnati avenues, terminating at Gonzaga University. The ETBs would be painted to resemble LRVs or modern streetcars.


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