Seattle Streetcar May Once Again Be on the Chopping Block

Seattle’s South Lake Union streetcar line (Photo by Steve Morgan)

Plans to build a downtown streetcar have long been a source of debate among Seattle politicians, in large part because of the low ridership on the city’s other streetcar lines. Last week, during a City Council budget hearing about the proposed 2018 Department of Transportation (SDOT) budget, the center city connector line was once again contentious. Several council members argued that even with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) chipping in $50 million to $75 million for the $177 million project, local money would still be better spent elsewhere. Streetcar proponents say that the center city connector is a worthy transit project and that turning down the FTA money now could hurt Seattle’s chances on other current and future grant application

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