Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Seattle balks at linking two streetcar lines

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The Seattle City Council has delayed deciding whether to link two streetcar lines – one operating, one set to open later this year – into one larger unit as it re-evaluates modal choices, reportedly including trolley buses.

At issue is how to serve the city's First Avenue, and whether a streetcar can link up the existing South Lake Union Streetcar (SLUS, shown in photo) and the First Hill streetcar line, now under construction.

Local media report the City Council has postponed any decision until June 21. One problem for any modal development is a source of revenue; currently no source is in place to advance, or operate, the additional streetcar segment.

Streetcar supporters say that the First Avenue route, unlike the other two streetcar segments, will have dedicated running lanes, reducing the amount of operation in mixed traffic, which has drawn complaints from riders on existing SLUS service.