News Releases

(Washington, D.C) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $5.67 million in funding for transportation and community development projects in eastern Washington in the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. Senator Murray is the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee. 

Among the projects funded in the bill is the Pullman Transit Maintenance Facility expansion.  This funding will help remodel the original 1982 facility, which Pullman Transit has since outgrown.  The updated facility will have two additional bays that have the capacity to accommodate 40-foot buses and large fire trucks.  To date, Pullman Transit has been unable to purchase any bus longer than 35-feet as they are unable to perform maintenance on them in the current facility.  This funding will complete the expansion and remodel.

"Now more than ever investments in public transportation are imperative to communities in Washington state," Murray stated.  "The high cost of gas is causing more people to utilize public transit, and this remodel and expansion of Pullman Transit will help meet current and future needs."

Mayor Glenn Johnson of Pullman lauded Murray's efforts:

“We are very grateful to Senator Murray for including this funding in the appropriations bill.  The funding will enable us to expand the City maintenance facility.  This expansion means a lot to this community and to Pullman Transit.  We are very pleased that Senator Murray recognized our need and the importance of our Transit system.”

Other important projects funded by Senator Murray in Eastern Washington Include:

Northeast Community Center Construction Project:  $500,000 (Spokane) 

This funding will support the Northeast Community Organization’s efforts to expand the Northeast Community Center to allow for expanded services.  Specifically, the funding will help complete the first phase of the neighborhood resource expansion project.  The Center offers a range of services, including: Headstart; a senior center; adult education and language courses; a supplemental food program for pregnant women, infants, and children; among others.  Senator Murray secured $300,000 in FY07.

YMCA/YWCA of Spokane Facility Construction Project:  $500,000

This funding will assist in the construction of a YMCA and YWCA co-location that will provide valuable services such as a childcare center, workforce readiness classrooms, domestic violence victim services, and programs for at-risk and homeless children and parents.  The area where this facility will be built is very low-income, and the YMCA/YWCA will be critical in providing services and training that will improve the economic abilities of the residents it will serve.

Inland Pacific Hub Analysis Project:  $250,000

Washington State is expected to accommodate an increased amount of international freight in the coming years.  This project will determine the economic impact and job creation potential of developing an inland port.  The analysis will assess the ability of Spokane to develop an intelligent transportation hub that would attract more global commerce in the region.  It will also create a plan to coordinate with regional partners.

Spokane Transit Smart Bus Technology Modernization:  $1 million

This funding will allow the Spokane Transit Authority to purchase and install new electronic and data systems technology, known as Smart Bus, into their existing buses.  This technology will improve vehicle life, lower maintenance costs, provide ADA enhancements, and increase overall dependability and efficiency of the bus system.  The Smart Bus technology will help to increase ridership and provide a safer transportation alternative for the Spokane area.

Freight Transportation Policy Institute, Washington State University -- $500,000

The Freight Transportation Policy Institute will research freight transportation and how improvements to freight mobility positively affect domestic and global competition, trade, and economic development.  Other factors that will be analyzed are employment and job growth, and energy and environmental considerations.  This funding will allow for a coordinated, streamlined research effort of freight transportation policy.

Post Street Centennial Trail and Utility Bridge:  $2 million

This funding will enable the city of Spokane to reconstruct the Post Street bridge, which provides a pedestrian connection between downtown Spokane and the University District redevelopment, and carries the city’s main sewer line, which also serves the City of Spokane Valley.  The city has already secured $5 million for design and construction and this funding will complete the project.

Columbia County Public Transportation Vehicle Replacement:  $120,000

The Columbia County Public Transportation Vehicle Replacement Project will replace two older minibuses that provide critical regional rural bus services.  These buses meet the rural mobility needs of elderly persons and people with disabilities.  This project will allow continued service benefiting residents from Dayton, Waitsburg and Prescott traveling to Walla Walla.  The buses connect people to the nearest town with major services including hospitals and transportation links.

Tonasket Community Center Project:  $200,000

The Tonasket Community Center is in dire need of renovations to make the building a safe gathering place for the rural, low-income city of Tonasket.  This funding will help the Community Center maintain and expand its current services, including serving as an art and education center, a social gathering place, and an arena for economic development through the community certified kitchen.  This funding will complete basic renovations, such as roof repairs, insulation for the walls and ceiling, and electrical system upgrades to bring the building into compliance with building codes.

The THUD Appropriations bill passed the full Appropriations Committee today and will move on to the Senate floor for consideration.