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Spokane Transit’s Central City Line wins $52.4 million in federal dollars, fully funding the project

April 9, 2019

More than two years after voters signaled approval for Spokane Transit Authority’s Central City Line, the federal government has allocated $53.4 million for the project, fully funding the bus rapid transit line.

When up and running in 2021, the streetcar-like, fixed-route, zero-emission bus will run through the city’s core, connecting Browne’s Addition with Spokane Community College with frequent service.

With federal grant, the $72 million project is now almost fully funded. The last share of dollars is expected to come later this month after state legislators award $11.4 million to the project.

In a joint news release, U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, praised the project.

“The Central City Line will connect residents, students and commuters with some of the city’s most important neighborhoods — providing clean, efficient, and reliable transit service to families throughout Spokane and the surrounding area — and I’m glad to see these federal investments flow to Eastern Washington,” said Murray, a Democrat and senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “These are exactly the types of forward-thinking proposals the CIG program is meant to support, and I will continue working to ensure transportation and infrastructure priorities for families east of the Cascades remain top of mind in the other Washington.”

Cantwell, the top Democrat on the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, agreed.

“With buses set to run at least every 15 minutes, the new Spokane City Central Line will put the pedal to the metal for connecting commuters and students to downtown, the University District, and Gonzaga,” she said.

McMorris Rodgers, the sole Republican of the three lawmakers, also praised the federal allocation.

“This is great news for everyone in Spokane,” she said. “Not only will the full grant funding of the Central City Line help further connect Spokane with the surrounding areas and provide reliable public transportation services to the entire community, but it will also bring an estimated $175 million in economic impact here in Eastern Washington. This is a win for Spokane and I was proud to work with Senators Murray and Cantwell to make it happen.”

This story is developing.