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British Airways names Spokane top city with weird name

British Airways names Spokane top city with weird name

From Visit Spokane:

Once again, the hub of the Inland Northwest has gained notoriety simply because of its name.

British Airways has included Spokane in a list of "Seven U.S. Cities With Weird Names (And Why You Should Visit)." In fact, Spokane finds itself at No. 1 on the list.

Warmer weather brings road closures to Spokane

Warmer weather brings road closures to Spokane

The weather is warming  up and that means more people are out and about, and road construction is getting underway. Here’s a list of things to be aware of the next couple of weeks as you plan your commute around Spokane.

Special Events

Washington deadline to remove studded tires

Washington deadline to remove studded tires

Monday is the deadline for drivers to remove studded tires.

Drivers with studded tires after Monday could get a $124 ticket.

The Transportation Department wants studded tires off the road because they cause highway ruts and damage bridge decks.

Downtown road closures for St. Patrick's Day parade

Downtown road closures for St. Patrick's Day parade

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take over the streets of Spokane Saturday morning and our own Mark Peterson will lead the festivities as the Grand Marshall.

Street closures for the parade begin at 7 am with the parade kicking off at noon. Check out the map above to plan where to stake out your seat, and to avoid any driving headaches come morning!

STA ridership up 43-percent since 2005

STA ridership up 43-percent since 2005

More people are ditching their cars for other modes of transportation, as national public transit numbers are up to their highest levels since the 1950s.

Dodging traffic is not something Brandon Chapman does. He gets around town without getting behind the wheel.

"I ride the bus about once or twice a day," Chapman said.

He's not alone; last year Spokane Transit gave over 11 million rides.

"I like riding the bus because Division is really, really busy most of the time, and I don't have to drive around, and a lot safer in the snow, I let the bus driver take care of the driving," Chapman said.

Everyone has a reason why they use public transit, whether it be rising gas prices or an effort to reduce congestion.

"Usually I ride the bus to save money and it's easier and simpler, than having a car and car expenses," Yauve Tharps said.

It seems more people are doing the same thing.

"2013 was our third highest ridership year ever," Steve Blaska with Spokane Transit Authority said.

Blaska added that since 2005 ridership is up a staggering 43-percent. Last year mass transit numbers grew to their highest levels in almost 60 years.

STA looking into bus fleet's future with all-electric bus

STA looking into bus fleet's future with all-electric bus

STA is looking into the future of its fleet during March by testing out an all-electric, zero emissions bus.

The bus will be running on a handful of routes across Spokane this month.

"We are interested in this new technology because we are going to be replacing our entire fix route fleet starting in about 2018 and 2019," Steve Blaska with STA said.

The buses are a promising alternative and Blaska said riders should notice it's not as noisy as the other buses.

"It's quiet; in fact, one of the things, the driver of the bus last week noted is that passengers tend to be quiet, it's almost like riding on a library," he said.

The electric bus takes four hours to recharge and runs about 150 miles per charge. However the cost of the bus is double that of a diesel-powered bus.

STA isn't buying the buses just yet, but rather looking at them as an option for the future.

"This is just a chance for us to look at, all electric as the state of art today," Blaska said.

Spokane Transit Authority testing all-electric bus

An all-electric bus is running on Spokane routes this month to evaluate battery-powered transit.

The bus was made in China and is being demonstrated by the U.S. branch of BYD Co. Ltd.

One Spokane Transit Authority driver told The Spokesman-Review it's smooth and quiet.

A passenger was excited about zero-emission buses, but others complained about minimal seat padding and different locations for buttons to request stops. If the Spokane agency orders electric buses, it would order its own package of features.