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Strengthening STA’s Capacity for Growth

STA Board Adopts Strategic Foundation for 10-Year Plan

STA is well underway on its next 10-year plan, Connect 2035. Building on the promises kept in STA Moving Forward, the current 10-year plan that’s drawing to a close, the agency is looking toward what’s next on the horizon for public transit in the Spokane region.

“Spokane Transit’s new vision and mission statements capture the purpose of what public transit is in the opinion of many of the people we talk to in the community,” said Senior Project Planner Kathleen Weinand. “It fits the themes of embracing the future of our community, which our board of directors has been expressing.”

As part of the Connect 2035 Phase 1 Strategic Foundation adopted by the STA Board of Directors on December 15, 2022, the new vision and mission read:

Our Vision 

Connecting everyone to opportunity

Our Mission 

We provide safe, inclusive, convenient, and efficient public transportation services to Spokane area communities.

We are leaders in transportation and a valued partner in the region’s social fabric, economic infrastructure, and quality of life.

The Phase 1 Strategic Foundation document articulates a strategic roadmap for STA’s bus, paratransit, and vanpool service through 2035 based on input from stakeholders and community members.

Three strategic goals have been created for the plan through 2035, guided by a year of outreach efforts, including a survey, drop-in events, rider-focused listening sessions, STA employee discussions, and interviews of STA board members and community leaders.

Connect 2035 Strategic Goals:

  1. Elevate the customer experience
  2. Lead and collaborate with community partners to enhance the quality of life in our region
  3. Strengthen our capacity to anticipate and respond to the demands of the region

Weinand explains that a refrain identified throughout the feedback in Phase 1 was the desire to “grow public transit” in the region, offering more and better transit service. With that in mind, one of the primary goals going into Phase 2 is strengthening STA’s capacity for growth. 

“We are looking closely at the organization and evaluating what STA will require to successfully deliver what the community needs,” said Weinand. “That means all hands on deck. Every discipline agency-wide will be involved in that process – including the chief executives.”

As Weinand and the team at STA gear up for Phase 2 of the Connect 2035 efforts, she looks forward to the next round of community engagement.

“I love hearing from our riders and stakeholders. I’m very interested in learning how people use transit service and how it is important to them in their lives,” said Weinand. “We also get to hear from the leaders in our community about how we can make transit better for the population they represent and what their communities’ priorities are.”

This summer, efforts will begin for Phase 2 of the Connect 2035 strategic plan, working towards identifying, prioritizing, and conceptualizing specific transit improvement projects and developing performance measures for the system’s future.

“While in Phase 1, we finalized our high-level vision, mission, and goals. In Phase 2, we get to identify the specific projects,” said Weinand. “That is when people can really see themselves in the plan, through the specific projects, and how they will directly improve their lives.” 

As a long-time member of the community, transit user, and transit planner, Weinand has an enthusiasm for not only the impact of the projects but for the forward-facing outlook of the agency and her colleagues. 

“We are considering ideas that the leading agencies across the country are looking at in their strategies,” said Weinand. “Our agency is right there planning for innovative concepts in transit. It’s exciting to work for an agency that is truly planning for the future and wants to keep improving all the time.”

Follow along and find opportunities to participate in Phase 2 of Connect 2035 strategic planning at spokanetransit.com/connect2035

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