Gonzaga Hosts City Line Ribbon-Cutting

The zero-emissions rapid-transit bus line connects Spokane in a whole new way

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaking at a podium
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (photo by Zack Berlat)
July 18, 2023
Gonzaga University News Service

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee woke up in Spokane Tuesday morning to a beautiful sunrise and tasty cup of coffee.

But Inslee’s reverie was cut short by the disturbing climate-related headlines in the morning news. Record-breaking temperatures in Europe, India and the American Southwest. People perishing due to floods in Pennsylvania, and having trouble breathing from wildfire smoke descending from Canada into the Midwest.

Inslee relayed his thoughts to a crowd of a couple hundred gathered on campus on the corner of Cincinnati and DeSmet for the ribbon-cutting of Spokane’s new City Line, a zero-emissions rapid-transit bus line connecting Browne’s Addition to Spokane Community College, with several stops in between.

Dignitaries in a line cutting a giant white ribbon
The ribbon-cutting was a crowded operation (photo by Zack Berlat).

The long-gestating project went live on Saturday, with Tuesday’s ceremony drawing a number of dignitaries from across local, regional and federal government agencies, community organizations and Gonzaga’s administration. GU President Thayne McCulloh opened the event with a land acknowledgement and welcome to a dais that included Inslee and his wife Trudi, Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward, Spokane City Council President Lori Kinnear, Spokane County Commissioner Al French, Spokane Transit Authority CEO Susan Meyer and others. Spokane Indians’ mascot Ribby was spied in the audience and got shout-outs from a few of the speakers.

Inslee hailed the City Line as an example of the kind of radical thinking needed to address the climate crisis, and praised Spokane for its leadership in moving public transportation away from fossil fuels. He also noted how the buses serve as community connectors, a theme repeated often over the course of an hour as speaker after speaker exalted the City Line, its leadership, STA drivers and staff, and the fact that it is a rare transportation-oriented project that actually came in under budget.

The speeches were followed by a group ribbon-cutting and celebration outside of Hemmingson Center.

More photos from the event: 

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh speaking at a podium, surrounded by visiting dignitaries
Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh welcomed guests with a land acknowledgement (photo by Zack Berlat).
Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward speaking at a podium
Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward (photo by Zack Berlat).
Spokane City Council President Lori Kinnear speaking at a podium
Spokane City Council President Lori Kinnear (right) nods to Spokane Transit Authority CEO Susan Meyer (photo by Zack Berlat)
Spokane County Commission Al French speaks a podium
Spokane County Commissioner Al French (photo by Zack Berlat).
A Spokane Transit City Line bus with the words Battery Electric Zero Emission on the window
A Spokane City Line bus, the star of the show (photo by Zack Berlat).


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