First Hill Begins Service
The Seattle Department of Transportation issued the following press release in January 2016:
First Hill Streetcar Gets Rolling!
The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is excited to announce promotional service on the First Hill Streetcar Line will begin midday on Saturday, January 23. This “soft launch” will feature free rides to introduce the new service, and will be followed in the weeks to come by a grand opening and community celebration.
Funded by Sound Transit, the First Hill Streetcar connects the diverse and vibrant neighborhoods of Capitol Hill, First Hill, the Central District, Little Saigon, Chinatown-International District, and Pioneer Square. The First Hill Streetcar line is just one part of the Seattle Streetcar system that will help provide new mobility options, support economic growth, and strengthen connections in the urban core.
Thank you to the communities, neighbors, and businesses along the line for bearing with us during construction and testing. We appreciate your patience and support. We are excited to see you on the First Hill Streetcar discovering Seattle’s neighborhoods and attractions, commuting to work, and linking to other modes of travel. Learn more about how to ride the streetcar. Stay tuned for details on the grand opening events to follow.
New Plans for Waterfront Streetcars
TV station KING 5 reported that the long unsettled role of the ex-Melbourne streetcars that served the waterfront line has now achieved some clarity. Two of the 1920s era streetcars will stay in Seattle where a group called Friends of the Benson Trolleys is launching a two year fundraising effort to secure funds that would allow retrofitting the cars to operate on Seattle's modern streetcar system, specifically along the proposed route that would connect the South Lake Union and First Hill routes along first street.
The other three Waterfront cars have been sold to the St. Louis and will go into service on the now-under-construction Delmar Loop heritage trolley line. The city's Loop Trolley District will pay about $200,000 for the trolleys. In St. Louis they will join two other trolleys from the Pacific Northwest, namely two replica cars that previously ran on Portland's light rail system.