Seattle — Streetcar Groundbreaking
Rail Transit Online, August 2006
Ceremonies were held on July 7 marking the start of
construction on the 1.3-mi. (2.1 km) South Lake Union streetcar line.
Modern trolleys will connect Westlake Center to a redevelopment area that,
by the year 2020, is expected to generate 20,000 biotech jobs and attract
17,000 residents living in high-rise condominiums. City officials hope
workers and residents will use the streetcars instead of their autos for
short trips. The $51-million project on Westlake Avenue is modeled on the
downtown Portland streetcar, which has been extremely successful in
attracting ridership and stimulating new development along its route. Some
Seattle leaders believe streetcars will someday serve a number of local
neighborhoods including First Hill, the University of Washington and the
Chinatown International District.