Sound Transit board agrees to sign $132.8 million check for Pioneer Square-Cap Hill streetcar route

Sound Transit’s executive board unanimously approved Thursday afternoon the full $132.8 million funding for the streetcar route connecting Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill via First Hill. The agency is on the hook for the route per an agreement forged when it was decided not to build a light rail station in the First Hill area.

The approval comes as Sound Transit has announced that a widening budget gap due to falling tax revenues will force the agency cut back on future projects.

Meanwhile, the City of Seattle continues to work on a plan to extend the approved streetcar route farther north on Broadway to Roy.

The line is currently planned to begin service in late 2013. If it is not extended, the route is currently planned to terminate near Denny and Broadway in front of what will eventually be the light rail station. Light rail is planned to begin running to Capitol Hill in 2016.

Motion No. M2010-94 – Approving full funding for the First Hill Streetcar project per the funding and cooperative agreement between the City of Seattle and Sound Transit in an amount not to exceed $132,780,000

6 thoughts on “Sound Transit board agrees to sign $132.8 million check for Pioneer Square-Cap Hill streetcar route

  1. Glad to see this moving forward. This portion was a “done deal”, but the real work of getting the streetcar to serve all of the Broadway business district needs to keep going. Mayor McGinn should be trumpeting loudly for this extension as the current placement makes no sense at all.

    Now if we could only build streetcar lines that actually connected to each other, as well! Happy to see the additional transit option, and the connections between ST stations, but at least one person here mentioned the need to connect the Cap/First Hill train to the currently “retired” waterfront streetcar and possibly over to the South Lake Union line. In order for mass transit to seriously reshape people’s thinking, it needs to actually take you places and CONNECT to other options.

    And no, I don’t hate cars…

  2. It terminates west of King Street Station, which is technically Pioneer Square.

    If you are interested in the route I definitely suggest watching the transportation committee meeting from late September on the Seattle Channel website. It gives the skinny on the routing.

  3. It doesn’t go to Pioneer Square in the Sound Transit sense. Let’s face it: Sound Transit gets to define neighborhoods more easily than anyone else. This streetcar connects to the International District/ Chinatown station, not the Pioneer Square station.

  4. It’s all semantics – face it the Pioneer Square bus/Link station was never in Pioneer Square anyway – this plan terminates about the same distance from the real Pioneer Square – connect it to the waterfront streetcar and restart that all the way to Broad Street – add another streetcar line fro Pioneer Square along First to link over to the SLUT – extend the SLUT along Eastlake to the U-district and we are starting to get somewhere. Now if we could just find massive oil reserves under Elliott Bay to pay for it all….

  5. Seems like someone (Sound Transit) should consider a public-private partnership a-la Portland Streetcar w/Roy Street Coffee & Tea to get some funding to continue north…