Letter to the Editor

No desire for streetcars
Not content merely unsuccessfully trying to force obscenely expensive Liberty Lake light rail systems on county residents — only to follow that bravura performance with infliction of massive commuter bus service cuts — Spokane Transit Authority management now want creation of totally new, thoroughly undemanded “frill” services: downtown streetcars.

Loyal riders on certain routes (such as No. 23, which dramatically reduces single-occupant-vehicle Maple/Ash corridor travel) are preparing farewells in September for fellow riders they’ve accompanied for years, some for decades, because STA management lacks backbone to advocate taxes on wealthiest residents to offset temporary sales tax revenue declines.

Demanding creation of completely new and unnecessary services at the same time commuters are forced to accept route reductions, requiring daily walks of more than four miles just to reach bus stops, smacks of supreme arrogance.

It’s overdue that STA board of directors’ part-time appointed memberships be taken out of the hands of indirectly related local governments’ office-holders. STA board members need to be directly elected by voters to serve for one purpose only: being accountable to STA riders and other county voters to whom mass transit issues are crucially important.

Robert A. Ethington

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree or disagree with Mr. Ethington? Why?

I talked to Karl Otterstrom at STA regarding this item I posted yesterday, and he said they are doing everything they can to accomodate riders of route 23, which is being eliminated. The route 124, which serves the same routing north of Francis (with faster and more frequent service), will have three new stops added in order to capture most of those riders. There are apparently only about 10 riders who are not within a half mile of the 124 stops (including the stops that now exist).

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