Pin It
Favorite

A Spokane Trolley? 

Transit officials are lined up behind an electric trolley. Now it's City Hall's turn.

click to enlarge A computer model of what Spokane's trolley could look like
  • A computer model of what Spokane's trolley could look like

The Spokane Transit Authority helped design its final route and it’s part of the downtown plan, but an electric trolley in Spokane is still years from reality.

Still, this Monday the Spokane City Council will debate — and vote on — whether an electric trolley bus is the best option for a downtown commuter line.

City and transportation officials initially compared three systems for a trolley from Browne’s Addition to Gonzaga: 1. An enhanced bus system (more diesel or hybrid buses on more routes). 2. An electric trolley bus (runs on overhead electrical cables, but uses diesel or battery power off the cables). 3. A streetcar system (a tram that gets power from overhead electrical cables, but runs on tracks — think Seattle and Portland).

Officials ultimately favored the electric trolley bus — permanent and efficient, but not the most expensive of the three — and now want the City Council to get onboard, says Amber Waldref, a council member who also sits on the STA board of directors.

Proponents hope the trolley would encourage more development downtown. But Chris Cargill, of the nonprofit Washington Policy Center, says there’s no clear evidence trolleys bring growth, but it’s clear they’re expensive. Planners say this one will cost about $36 million.

Considering multiple options gives Spokane a better shot at getting federal money for a trolley, Waldref says, but it’s still just one of many downtown dreams.

“I want it to move forward, but I want to be realistic about it,” she says. “We only have so much money, time and energy.”

The Spokane City Council will meet Monday at 6 pm in City Hall’s Council Chambers, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

  • Pin It

Speaking of Transportation, downtown

  • Crossroads
  • Crossroads

    A high-profile retailer is eyeing a particular block of downtown Spokane; what that might mean for the Central City Line
    • Jan 7, 2015
  • More »

Latest in News

  • Between Love and the Law
  • Between Love and the Law

    He was a criminal. She was a crime fighter. Their relationship would cost them both dearly
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • 'All Lives Matter'
  • 'All Lives Matter'

    A deeper look at Pasco as it grapples with the police shooting of a vulnerable man
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • Promise Keepers?
  • Promise Keepers?

    The city of Spokane tries to keep its promise not to raise taxes; plus, the fight against public nudity
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • More »

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Russian-Speaking Community Vaccines Forum

Russian-Speaking Community Vaccines Forum @ Northeast Community Center

Mon., March 2, 5:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Heidi Groover

Most Commented On

  • 'I Do Not Trust Muzlims'

    Comments by the wife of Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell have raised questions about his office's impartiality
    • Feb 25, 2015
  • Fagan's World

    City councilman Mike Fagan has unconventional views on vaccinations. So, what else does he think?
    • Feb 18, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation