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Transportation - for People with Disabilities and the Elderly - Spokane, WA
TRANSPORTATION - for people with disabilities


in the City of Spokane

  • A disabled person who displays a disabled license plate or placard hanging from their mirror, may park in any “normal” stall for FREE.
  • A disabled person who parks in a stall designated for the disabled which displays a “blue sticker” and “4- hours only,” may only park there for FREE for 4 hours.  Parking at the blue stickered meter beyond the 4 hours requires paying a normal  parking fee.  The driver may, however, move the car to another stall.
  • State law requires eligible Spokane drivers to visit a doctor and receive a note on his official letterhead, before visiting the licensing office to obtain a disabled parking placard, tab or license plate.  This law prevents people from forging paperwork to receive disabled privileges, or who use placards and plates of relatives or acquaintances to obtain prime parking spots.  NOTE:  Obtaining disabled parking credentials through fraudulent means is now a misdemeanor offense with penalties up to a 90-day jail sentence and fine of $1,000. 

    Disabled motorists, either seeking credentials for the first time or renewing them, now must submit the same paperwork under state law.  They need:
    1. A completed application from the Washington Department of Licensing.
    2. A signed prescription, or note on official letterhead, from a licensed physician.  The doctor has to write a prescription every time someone wants a renewal.  Those eligible for renewal will continue to receive notices in the mail, but will be required to submit the prescription or note with their application.  The new red parking placard is good for up to a year. 

    The law does not change the legal definition of a disabled driver.  Those motorists who generally cannot walk for more than 200 feet without assistance may apply for permits.  Permanent placards will continue to be issued for a 5-year period, with motorists needing to visit their doctor when that time is up.  The state law also does not affect local parking laws, which allow disabled motorists to park for free at selected parking meters for several hours. 

    Drivers can submit the paperwork to the auditor's office in the Spokane County Courthouse, which is open from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm Monday through Thursday, and from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm on Friday.  Drivers also can take the paperwork to one of 9 contracted auto license agencies in the county to obtain disabled parking credentials.  The list and hours is on the auditor's website:  http://www.spokanecounty.org/auditor

    Effective July 1, 2015.  (Doctor's note now required for disabled parking privileges, by Kip Hill, The Spokesman-Review, July 8, 2015, and Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton)

Spokane Transit Authority's

Paratransit Service

Paratransit is a wheelchair-accessible shared ride transportation service for individuals whose disability prevents them from using the regular fixed route buses. This means that a person must be unable, because of a disability, to get to or from the bus stop, get on or off a lift or ramp equipped bus, or successfully travel by bus to or from the destination.

Monthly passes are available for pre-purchase; otherwise, each trip is $1.50. 

Service Area
All Paratransit trips must begin and end within the Paratransit Service Area. At present, this includes most of the areas in the cities of Cheney, Medical Lake, Airway Heights, Liberty Lake, Millwood, Spokane, and Spokane Valley. Fairchild Air Force Base and Spokane International Airport also are served.

Who is eligible for paratransit service?
Eligibility is based on limitations to an individual's abilities, not just the presence of a disability. Age or the inability to drive are not qualifying factors in and of themselves. All of Spokane Transit’s regular buses are fully accessible and equipped with ramps in order to board passengers who use wheelchairs.

An application for service is required (before using this service). The application includes a section for verification of your disability from a licensed medical or mental health professional.  It is necessary to complete an application form if you wish to use the paratransit vans. You may obtain an application by downloading here, calling (509) 328-1552 (TDD 327-6055) or by writing to:

Paratransit Applications
Spokane Transit
1212 West Sharp Avenue
Spokane, WA 99201

STA Mobility Center
2nd Floor of the Plaza
701 W. Riverside
Spokane, WA 
(509) 325-6052. 
The STA Mobility Center can provide the free assessments of paratransit eligibility, determined through an application process that includes a physical or cognitive assessment. 

Applications are generally processed within 7 to 10 business days. Re-certification of eligibility will occur periodically.

STA provides Mobility Training for people with disabilities, or seniors.  This training can help people ride the regular STA city bus independently.  Group training and presentations at your location are available.  Please call (509) 232-2603. 

If you have any questions about this application or about paratransit service, please contact Paratransit Services at (509) 328-1552, TDD (509) 327-6055.  Representatives are available 7 days a week, including holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  You can also send an e-mail to amitchell@spokanetransit.com.  

Tracking a STA Bus
STA's "smart bus" system uses GPS to track their buses, showing riders the real-time status of their approaching bus.  The information can be used to pinpoint arrival times and reduce waiting time for bus passengers in the cold, snow or rain.  This function will be especially useful during winter storms when buses often have trouble staying on schedule.  Each bus has its own number, and each bus stop has a unique number as well.  Buses are tracked by GPS.  Maps o the website show the progress of each bus.  Highlight boxes give estimates of the buses' progress in real time.  The information is accessible at http://spokanetransit.com/betatripplanner    (Bus running late?  Track it by GPS," by Mike Prager, The Spokesman-Review, September 9, 2015) 

Local Organizations
Additional Resources

Wheelchair Transport - Quality

(509) 535-2475
(Private Pay - call for prices)