The West Plains Transit Center, located at Exit 272 along I-90, addresses several transportation issues on the West Plains. Before the transit center, customers were required to travel to downtown Spokane to make connections between Medical Lake and Cheney. The facility allows customers to change buses on the West Plains and it also included a park and ride for commuters that utilizes existing service between Spokane and Cheney. Connections are in the works for the remaining areas of the West Plains.
As part of the STA Moving Forward planning study, STA initiated a project to evaluate a transit center that would improve connectivity in the West Plains area, provide transit access to residential areas to the south of I-90, and increase productivity on routes in the area. The West Plains Transit Center is an important step in the implementation of high performance transit.
The West Plains Transit Center provides riders with the following:
- 200 spaces in a new Park and Ride lot
- Passenger loading platforms to accommodate multiple West Plains connecting services with I-90 transit services, with the possibility of adding including intercity buses in the future
- Real-time bus departure information
- Landscaping, lighting, shelters and other transit amenities
- Improved direct connectivity between the Airway Heights (phase two), Medical Lake and Cheney, alleviating the need to connect via downtown Spokane.
- Increased efficiency of existing services.
- 1.1 million fewer annual vehicle miles and 95,000 fewer vehicle trips by the fourth year.
- Accommodates future high performance vehicles that will expedite travel through increased frequency, prepaid and faster boarding, and dedicated lanes.
Stakeholder outreach was a major component of this project. Two policy and technical design groups were formed to provide input into major decisions regarding the project
Extensive public outreach was conducted as a part of the STA Moving Forward planning process in 2012, the results of which identified the Spokane to Cheney corridor as a top candidate for high performance transit and an ideal location for a transit center.
In the years since then, multiple open houses and extensive public outreach have confirmed the need for a transit center and a commuter park and ride in the West Plains.
on phase one has completed. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on September 18, 2018, to celebrate the opening of the West Plains Transit Center.
Phase two will facilitate service allowing West Plains residents to travel between cities on the West Plains without having to travel downtown.