Spokane Transit route changes could affect students


Students board the STA route 66 which goes to and from EWU to from downtown Spokane. New route changes may affect students who have to make the commute.

By Erica Halbert, Reporter

On Jan. 21, the Spokane Transit Authority will be adding and adjusting a number of Spokane-based bus routes, which may affect travel schedules for commuting EWU students.

According to the STA, the majority of these changes are “schedule adjustments to improve reliability.” Both the Spokane 20/33 City Loop North and the 34/44 City Loop South routes will have their schedules adjusted, and a new weekend route is being added to allow for access to the recently-opened Spokane Tribe Casino in Airway Heights.

This new route will impact both the 60 Airport and 61 Highway 2 routes. An additional route is also being added to the 74 Mirabeau/Liberty Lake morning schedules.

While none of these new routes directly interfere with the 66 Cheney/EWU line, they may have an impact on schedules for students.

When asked, most students who rely on the transit system to commute to EWU from Spokane were aware of the changes. The students said the changes are announced regularly over the PA system on the buses, as well as via notices and new maps at bus stops.

“I’ve heard about it when I get off the bus,” a Running Start student who commutes from Spokane said.

However, most students did not think the changes would affect their travel, and some even thought that the changes would offer more positives than negatives.

“Sounds like it’s for the better,” said Ryan Helgason, an EWU senior who lives in Spokane. “They’ve been very difficult since they moved the PUB bus stop.”

Helgason, like others, was unconcerned about the STA changes.

“I’ll just use Google Maps to make sure I get the right times,” Helgason said.

Kaitlin, a Spokane resident and senior at EWU, was confident that the changes would not affect her travel. Her school commute consists of driving to the Spokane Jefferson Park & Ride, and taking the bus directly to Cheney from there.

The STA plays a pivotal role in the daily commutes of many EWU students who live in Spokane. For some, it is their only method of transportation to the campus, but others opt to use the bus for other reasons.

“It’s significantly easier to take the bus,” said the Running Start student. “It’s a lot safer.”

Helgason said that his primary reason for taking the bus is that it’s free for all EWU students and saves him from the cost of owning and driving a car.

For a full list of the upcoming STA changes, visit the Spokane Transit website.