Seattle — Streetcar Analysis
Rail Transit Online, June 2005
An analysis of the
proposed South Lake Union streetcar commissioned by the Seattle city council
found that projected ridership may have been overstated and there are
financial risks for the city because only 29 percent of the project's
estimated $47.5-million capital cost has been identified. In addition,
estimates of income from private-sector sponsorship of cars and stations
appear optimistic at best based on experience in Tampa and other cities.
However, the chairman of the council's transportation committee said while
the report highlights some problems, none appears to be a deal-breaker and
the streetcar is likely to get the approval of lawmakers, in part because
it’s strongly supported by Mayor Greg Nickels. The 2.6-mi. (4.18 km) line
would connect Westlake Center with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research
Center on the southeast shore of Lake Union, serving a redevelopment area.