Public Transit Investment Talk (May 4)

Public Transit Investment Talk (May 4)

Public transportation expert John Robert Smith will be speaking on Wednesday, May 4 starting at 8:30am (doors 8am) on how public transit has the potential to attract and retain a talented workforce and enhance downtown vibrancy. The talk will be held at the Philanthropy Center (1020 W Riverside). A light breakfast will be served.

Public transit is one factor that the Spokane area has recognized as important to long-term economic viability. As Chairman of Transportation for America and former mayor of Meridian Mississippi, Smith will speak about what other cities across the country are doing to enhance downtown vibrancy with bus rapid transit and other strategies.


To RSVP, please contact Kaitlin Larson at or (509) 625-6719.

This event is sponsored by Avista, McKinstry, CH2M, Downtown Spokane Partnership, WSU Spokane, City of Spokane, Transportation for America, Futurewise and Empire Health Foundation.

Smith currently serves as Chairman of Transportation for America, where he advises on strategy, capacity building, and national outreach. Prior to his role there, he served as mayor of Meridian, Mississippi for 16 years.

During his tenure as mayor, Smith received acclaim for his aggressive facilitation of the public-private partnerships that resulted in over $430m of infrastructure projects that bolstered the economy and quality of life for the people of Meridian. A recognized authority on public and private transportation and development funding, he guided the development and construction of the Southeast’s first multimodal transportation center, Meridian Union Station.

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