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Seattle - August 2011

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Seattle — Master Plan Considers Streetcars

Rail Transit Online, August 2011

The Seattle City Council's Transportation Committee has unveiled a 20-year Transit Master Plan focused on four corridors that could potentially support high-capacity transportation modes such as streetcars or bus rapid transit. They include a seven-mile (11.3 km), eight-stop streetcar route from Loyal Heights to King Street Station via Ballard and Fremont, another starting in the University District and serving the Roosevelt neighborhood to downtown, from Colman Dock to Capitol Hill and Madison Park, and from downtown to lower Queen Anne or to a connection with the South Lake Union and First Hill streetcars.

The plan includes a total of 15 corridors, most of which would see enhanced bus service. The determining factors are ridership demand, land use, terrain and whether existing transit needs to be augmented. Seattle Department of Transportation official Tony Mazzella said the focus will be on funding the highest-priority corridors. "On these corridors, rail is a very strong alternative," Mazzella told seattlepi.com. "Over time, rail is going to be a more cost-effective way to meet a certain demand. That's partially because you're meeting the demand with fewer labor costs and you're spending less in capturing new riders." A draft of the full report will be presented to the city council in September.


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