Hybrid Coaches Mean
The new hybrid diesel-electric buses use one-third less fuel and
dramatically reduce emissions.
Spokane Transit recently took delivery of three
40’ Gillig diesel-electric hybrid buses as part of a
large purchase by another transit agency. Eighty
percent of the funds used to buy the buses came
from a federal grant.
The hybrid coaches look similar to regular
diesel coaches except for a large area on the top
of the bus that holds the batteries for the drive
system and some hybrid markings to distinguish
them from the other coaches. They were deliv-
ered in late 2007 and have been in use since the
beginning of this year.
The diesel-electric hybrid buses are being used on a
The General Motors drive system that pro- variety of routes throughout the STA system.
vides power for the bus is similar to other hybrid
vehicles in that it uses a blending of diesel and control system like most new traditional diesel-
electric power—but is different than most pas- powered buses, but the braking system also serves
senger car hybrid systems because the diesel en- as a generator to recharge the batteries. This “re-
gine must idle at all times to operate the power generative braking” makes the vehicle slow down
February/March steering and other accessory systems such as the
When traveling less than 10 miles per hour,
a little more quickly when the bus begins coasting
to a stop.
Over a twelve-year life cycle, fuel savings are
the hybrid buses use the low-torque power from estimated to be between 31 and 35 thousand
the electrical drive system to move the vehicle. gallons per vehicle when compared to the fuel
To sustain higher speeds, the hybrids must use consumption of a traditional diesel-powered bus.
the power generated from the diesel engine. This Each hybrid will also reduce the production of
“blending” is controlled by an on-board com- carbon-dioxide by 352 tons from that of a tradi-
puter that uses an extensive series of sensors tional bus while producing sound levels compa-
to accelerate the diesel engine and manage the rable to a passenger car.
power transition. The hybrid coaches are being used on a vari-
The drive system uses an automatic traction ety of routes throughout the STA system.
New Route Serves
The Big Read: Libraries to Hold Information Sessions at The Plaza
Northside Commuters The Spokane Public Library, Spokane County Library District and Fairchild Air Force Base Library
have received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to help restore reading to the center of
American culture. The grant program, known as The Big Read, will be active in the Spokane
community through February and March.
Representatives from the libraries will be in The Plaza on February 7th and 14th from 3:00
p.m. to 6:00 p.m. to provide more information about the upcoming events. The first activity will
be a series of local readings and showings of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon.
The North Express buses have a very distinctive look.
The new route serving Spo-
kane’s northside commuters,
O Milestones 2007: Ten Million Rides
officially known as the 124
North Express, began operation on January 21, Strong Community Support Vital to Key Additionally, STA took delivery of 26 new
Accomplishments for STA in 2007 buses (six articulated buses and three diesel-
2008. The route operates during peak com-
mute times from the Hastings Park & Ride lot to electric hybrids) and seven smaller 14-passenger
downtown Spokane via Wall and Monroe streets Thanks to the enthusiastic support of the Spo- vans for fixed-route use in 2007. A Washington
and travels back to the Hastings Park & Ride lot kane community, ridership at Spokane Transit State Department of Ecology grant allowed STA
using the same route. It takes just over 30 min- over the last two years is one of the highest to continue to retrofit newer emission systems
utes for each one-way trip. in the nation—more than three times the na- on 83 buses which will reduce particulate emis-
The new route arrives and departs down- tional average—for sions by 90 percent.
town at the Bank of America (Zone B) on the all urban transporta- ...Spokane Transit operates the most Spokane Transit also
corner of Riverside and Wall. The 124 North tion systems. Over- cost effective and efficient urban added 20 vans to the
Express only stops at Francis and Monroe, all, ridership on the Vanpool fleet in 2007.
transit system in Washington State.
Wellesley and Monroe and at Broadway and fixed-route buses is up Early morning
Monroe near the Spokane County campus. more than 25 percent since 2003. service was introduced on four main routes, with
To view the route schedule, visit our website A combined total (fixed-route buses, Para- arrival times at The Plaza as early as 5:45 a.m.
at www.spokanetransit.com. transit and Vanpool) of ten million rides were The 124 North Express route was also added
New Voter Service Center given last year. The ridership data for 2007 and seven buses were completely refurbished for
shows bus ridership up 12.2 percent, Paratransit that route.
Opening Inside The Plaza
ridership up three percent and Vanpool use up STA introduced free wireless internet on the
Voter Service Centers allow people to: three percent. articulated buses in 2007 and installed the same
• Drop Off Completed Ballots Although STA experienced such a dramatic systems on the North Express buses.
• Get Replacement Envelopes
increase in ridership, the cost effectiveness and The new Trip Planner software (featured on
• Vote a Provisional Ballot
• Use a Disability Accessibility Voting Device
efficiency of the system never declined. In fact, page 2) was also developed for the official STA
• Get Answers to Voting Questions according to the 2006 Washington State Sum- website, www. spokanetransit.com, while traffic
mary of Public Transportation, Spokane Transit to the site increased more than 50 percent over
Voter Service Center Opens February 19, 2008
Presidential Primary operates the most cost effective and efficient 2006. The total number of visits to the website
urban Transit System in Washington State. in 2007 was 253,948.
O Board 2 n
Online Trip Planner A Powerful Tool
1) Enter the information for your trip 2) Select from the possible options 3) View and print the details Find
More O nline
STA Website Uses Most Current Data SAFETY NOTICE
Trip Planner uses real-time infor- the software scans all the route data and delivers
a list of possible trip options to choose from. By No Boarding Allowed After
mation from STA’s own database. clicking on the Details button next to one of the
proposed trips you can see the specific informa-
Buses Leave Their Zones
In January, 2008, Spokane Transit unveiled a
tion you’ll need to complete that trip—such as Passengers should not try to board buses
new internet-based Trip Planner. Now,
transfer points and times as well as a detailed map after they start to pull away from their
anyone can plan trips at anytime by visiting the designated zones at The Plaza. As the drivers
STA website at www.spokanetransit.com. of the trip.
The Trip Planner software reads route infor- pull away from the curb, they are attempting
The program allows you to enter your to merge into traffic.
origin and destination locations, your desired mation from STA’s own database which is up-
dated whenever there are route adjustments or Any distraction from people wanting to
time of travel and the way you wish the infor- board the bus after it has started to leave
mation to be displayed (by overall trip time, revisions. The software is also designed to syn-
can create disruptions which could lead to an
chronize the date of your trip request with the
walking distance or number of transfers).You accident. If you’ve missed a bus you wished to
dates of service in the STA database. This means
can also choose locations by selecting from a board, please refrain from entering the street
you can search for trip information using a future
list of pre-existing landmarks such as hospitals to get the driver’s attention. It is not safe for
date and rely on the information to be accurate.
and schools. Once that information is entered, you or the passengers on the bus.
Spokane County During the exercises, two separate teams
of officers practice simultaneous maneuvers to
SWAT Team Well quickly take control of the vehicle and subdue any-
one who might cause harm to the passengers or
Trained in Bus the coach operator. The SWAT team also learns
the subtle differences between the various buses.
Tactics In the rare event it becomes necessary for
a bus to be boarded by SWAT team members,
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Special Weap- remain calm and wait for instructions from the of-
ons and Tactics team conducts extensive train- ficers. Do not try to help the officers or become
ing with STA vehicles each year. The purpose involved in any way.
of the training is to determine the best pos- “We work at this very hard,” said Brett Hubbell,
sible ways to disable and board buses in order Spokane County Deputy Sheriff. “When we get
Art Blodgett, STA Coach Operator, informs Brett Hubbell,
to apprehend suspects and ensure the safety into a tight spot such as a bus, we need bystanders Spokane County SWAT Training Coordinator, how the
of passengers. to cooperate as much as possible.” door systems work on a 40-foot TMC coach.
Board of Directors Citizen Advisory Operations & Customer
Spokane City Hall • Meetings can be seen live Committee Service Committee
Council Chambers on Cable 5, and replay STA Northside Conf. Room STA Southside Conf. Room
808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. the following Saturday at 1230 W. Boone Ave. 1229 W. Boone Ave.
Upon request, alternative formats of this document • February 21, 5:30 p.m. 4 p.m., Monday at 10 a.m. • February 13, 5 p.m. • February 6, 1:30 p.m.
will be produced for people with disabilities. • March 20, 5:30 p.m. and Tuesday at 8 p.m. • March 12, 5 p.m. • March 5, 1:30 p.m.