23 January 2010

Passenger Service in Potlatch

It's interesting to look back on earlier times when passenger cars occasionally plied WI&M tracks (see photo above, furnished by the late Lee Gale). As we look at more mass transit options in today's world, it's worth recalling that once people routinely rode trains and got to a number of out-of-the-way places. "The Bug" was of course widely used in Potlatch, taking passengers, mail and cargo up to Bovill or over to Palouse. Palouse enjoyed a wide variety of passenger services, and at one point, seven roundtrips per day were offered between Palouse and Spokane. As the WIMHPG continues to restore the historic depot at Potlatch, several locals have mentioned using the building as a real depot again, offering bus service between Potlatch and Moscow/Pullman. With some 80 percent of local residents traveling to the university towns for work, such bus links could make sense--and cents for those tired of piling miles on their cars. The big question: would people use the bus? If you are reading this blog, please post your thoughts on this matter.


Anonymous said...

I think it would or could be very useful. Many of the older people in the community should no longer be driving to Moscow or anywhere out of town.
The park and ride could be helpful as well. With so many of our citizens of the community, it would certainly save on gas. (And gas prices are rising again).

Bonnie Rohn

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that I'd personally use the bus service, but it seems like it might fill a need in our community and also be a nice way of connecting the depot's past and present function.

The economics of a daily service seem a bit dicey (I've read about some of the funding issues facing Moscow/Pullman/Valley transit), but any way of connecting us with the larger world out there while keeping true to our small town roots seems like a great idea to me.

I'd be a big fan of the Latah Trail making a stop at the depot, whether from Moscow or Troy--any chance or discussion of that being a possibility?

Michael Riley