An Electric Trolley In Downtown Spokane? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

An Electric Trolley In Downtown Spokane?

STA hopes an electric trolley would provide service along what they call a Central City Line. STA hopes an electric trolley would provide service along what they call a Central City Line.
SPOKANE, Wash. -
KHQ.COM - You know about Seattle's South Lake Union street car, and you've seen the iconic San Francisco trolleys. But did you know about the plan to bring a modern electric trolley to downtown Spokane?

Susan Meyer with Spokane Transit Authority says, "it's a way of moving more people in a really environmentally strong way because it is electrically charged."

They don't call it light-rail because in fact there are no rails set into the ground.

Meyer says it's a way to move people, powered by an overhead electric infrastructure. Basically a wire.

"It is going to look like a train. A sleek modern streetcar. They will be 60-feet long or so and be articulated meaning they have the bendy part in the middle." Meyer says. "In good weather, they'll wear wheel skirts so you won't be able to see the tires. It looks just like a streetcar."

STA hopes this would provide service along what they call a Central City Line. It's about 3 miles from the Browne's Addition neighborhood to Gonzaga University, traveling through downtown Spokane along 1st Avenue or possibly Sprague Avenue. In the early planning phases the completion date would be sometime in 2019.

KHQ showed people in the community the design plans provided by STA. Darin Talotti says, "I think its a great idea to do a trolley especially since that are a lot of people in this area that can just jump on the trolley and go to school." He is the owner of Pacific Avenue Pizza. He hopes it would increase business.

"I think it’s forward thinking," says student Jennifer Dixon. "Because we have this old town small town feel but we are starting to expand like Seattle and Portland."

But there are concerns and the biggest is cost. Right now the STA is estimating low-end costs at $36 million dollars.

"It’s a lot of money for something that already exists already and STA runs very efficiently," says Pamela Holand.

It's money the STA says would come from federal, state and possibly tax payer funds. $200,000 has already been spent on research. That doesn't include a possible extension to Spokane Community College.

Gonzaga Student Megan Lapke doesn't have a car and says she would use a trolley system if one existed today. "I think they need to focus on public transportation that is sustainable and efficient and I support that."

Another hurdle is the design. The trolley that STA envisions isn't built in the United States. Susan Meyer says there is a way around that issue. "That vehicle is made outside of the United States. We are working with North American manufacturers to develop a similar vehicle style, because it doesn't exist now."

STA is seeking federal money to fund the design engineering, but to have it made from scratch in the United States could prove costly. They will also be applying for federal funding, likely this spring, and state funding through a series of state funding grants.

Still many questions remain unanswered and STA is aware of the hiccups and they consider that part of the process.

"It is innovative and so it hasn't been done here. It hasn’t been done anywhere," Meyer says, "and people have questions which we expect."


  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Pennsylvania man dies in crash at Trent and Barker in Spokane Valley

    Pennsylvania man dies in crash at Trent and Barker in Spokane Valley

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 3:12 AM EDT2018-10-17 07:12:28 GMT

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Washington State Patrol reports one man has died and a woman is in the hospital after a crash at Trent and Barker in Spokane Valley Tuesday night. Investigators say 26-year-old John L. Scott of Lancaster, Pennsylvania,  was headed westbound on SR 290 east of Flora in a 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup when he crossed the center line into the oncoming lanes of traffic.

    >>

    SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Washington State Patrol reports one man has died and a woman is in the hospital after a crash at Trent and Barker in Spokane Valley Tuesday night. Investigators say 26-year-old John L. Scott of Lancaster, Pennsylvania,  was headed westbound on SR 290 east of Flora in a 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup when he crossed the center line into the oncoming lanes of traffic.

    >>
  • 20-year-old man killed in crash near Rathdrum

    20-year-old man killed in crash near Rathdrum

    Tuesday, October 16 2018 8:49 PM EDT2018-10-17 00:49:00 GMT

    RATHDRUM, Idaho -  Idaho State Police have identified the man killed in a crash near Rathdrum Tuesday. Troopers responded to Chase Road, west of Rathdrum, around 1:15 p.m. Investigators say 20-year-old Brady Robert McPhail of Osburn, Idaho, was traveling eastbound in a white 2010 Buick Lucerne when he went into the westbound lane of traffic.

    >>

    RATHDRUM, Idaho -  Idaho State Police have identified the man killed in a crash near Rathdrum Tuesday. Troopers responded to Chase Road, west of Rathdrum, around 1:15 p.m. Investigators say 20-year-old Brady Robert McPhail of Osburn, Idaho, was traveling eastbound in a white 2010 Buick Lucerne when he went into the westbound lane of traffic.

    >>
  • Alleged drug dealer arrested after standoff

    Alleged drug dealer arrested after standoff

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 2:39 AM EDT2018-10-17 06:39:36 GMT

    A man was arrested on two warrants, including a felony charge for allegedly dealing drugs, on Tuesday. John C. Buchanan was arrested after a brief standoff with SPD's Patrol Anti-Crime Team (PACT). Police said he refused to come out of his home on Broad Avenue and North Haven Street. Police said Buchanan attempted to flee through a window, but shortly ran back into his building. Buchanan faces two charges: a felony charge for possession of narcotics with intent to dis...

    >>

    A man was arrested on two warrants, including a felony charge for allegedly dealing drugs, on Tuesday. John C. Buchanan was arrested after a brief standoff with SPD's Patrol Anti-Crime Team (PACT). Police said he refused to come out of his home on Broad Avenue and North Haven Street. Police said Buchanan attempted to flee through a window, but shortly ran back into his building. Buchanan faces two charges: a felony charge for possession of narcotics with intent to dis...

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/