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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Seattle City Council approves streetcar line

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A First Hill Streetcar route on Broadway was unanimously approved May 3 by the Seattle City Council, The Seattle Times reports. The $130-million line is to open in 2013, connecting the International District/Chinatown light-rail station to the train station on Capitol Hill scheduled to open in 2016. A short loop will pass King Street Station and Pioneer Square.

Voters approved the line as part of a regional $18-billion Sound Transit expansion measure in 2008.

Streetcars will run every 10 minutes serving hospitals, Seattle University and densely populated neighborhoods. The technical challenges include overhead wiring conflicts with electric Metro trolleybuses and how to share the streets with storefront parking spaces and proposed bicycle lanes.

The Seattle council said it would seek transit funds to study a north extension, beyond the light-rail station at Denny Way.

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