Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

November 14, 2002

Whitworth Students to Make Budget, Planning Recommendations to Spokane Transit Authority Official in Nov. 19 Meeting

WHAT: As the Spokane Transit Authority prepares to make service reductions due to significantly declining revenue and Washington state voters' recent defeat of Referendum 51, which would have provided the agency $23 million in support, students at Whitworth College have weighed in with analysis and proposals that are making STA officials take notice.

In a case-study project, nearly 50 Whitworth computer-science students acting as public-transportation planners and budget specialists have devised innovative strategies to help keep STA afloat. The students will meet Nov. 19 with Jim Plaster, director of finance and administration at STA, to present their research and recommendations. Plaster will also share his data with the students to aid their problem-solving efforts.

"Jim is sincerely interested in receiving input from people who have done thorough analyses of the issues STA is dealing with," says Ron Turner, visiting computer-science professor at Whitworth who is overseeing the case-study project. "To help solve our city's transportation issues, Whitworth students are also considering some of the unique needs of STA's ridership - such as those who have limited incomes and who work late at night - and are making recommendations involving social-service agencies and the Spokane Housing Authority that haven't been considered before."

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 19. Plaster will meet with the first class from 9:30-10:50 a.m. and the second class from 1:05-2:25 p.m.

WHERE: Computer Lab #235 in Harriet Cheney Cowles Memorial Library at Whitworth College

Contacts:

Ron Turner, visiting professor of computer science at Whitworth and owner of Soph-Ware Associates, (509) 777-4664 or (509) 468-8264; rturner@whitworth.edu or ront@Soph-Ware.com.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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