The new Eagle Station bus plaza has been up and running for a couple months, but dignitaries from EWU and STA officially cut the ribbon on Earth Day to celebrate the role the new facility plays in sustainability.
Eagle Station, painted Eagle red and outfitted with the Eastern logo, is equipped with wind barriers, heaters, 1,500-square feet of covered waiting area and real-time scheduling screens. The goal is to make the wait time easier and more comfortable for the many students, faculty and staff who travel by bus from Cheney to Spokane.
But the real benefit is mobility – especially for students.
“Access to student transportation is such a major aspect in terms of student success on our campus,” said Remington Steelman, executive vice president of ASEWU. He joined interim EWU President David May, E. Susan Meyer, CEO of STA, lawmakers and other dignitaries for the grand opening.
Steelman noted that students pay a transportation fee with their tuition, allowing them to ride the bus anywhere around the Spokane region. “STA provides our students a chance to explore our local area and focus on their studies while on their journey. On behalf of the student body, we are truly grateful to see this new addition to our university.”
Construction on the $1.3 million project began last August. It was funded by the Washington State Legislature through its Regional Mobility Grant Program.
On top of improving conditions for current bus riders, Eagle Station promises to encourage others to leave their cars at home, helping to improve regional air quality and reducing traffic congestion.
“Today is Earth Day and utilizing public transportation is just one of the many ways that EWU is committed to sustainability,” added May. “Public transportation, including this station, provides more accessibility for our community members.”
According to STA, about 10 percent of the student body uses the bus, and there were 29,826 student ‘rides’ in the month of March. There were roughly 6,000 employee rides during the same month.
Eastern students, faculty and staff with a valid EagleCard can ride any Spokane Transit Authority bus route for free. Commuters in Spokane can leave their cars at either the South Hill or Jefferson “park and rides” and hop on a bus to Cheney.