Stop funding the South Lake Union Streetcar

The South Lake Union Streetcar serves a route that is easily served by a bus. The streetcar disrupts car traffic causing congestion throughout the Mercer corridor and often back to I-5 as it is not coordinated with the street lights. The streetcar has very low ridership and cannot support itself financially. Other transit methods could serve commuters in this area at a lower cost.


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  1. Comment
    Community Member

    Agreed, the streetcar has been bleeding money since it was launched and it's time to put it out to pasture.

  2. Comment
    Community Member

    Let Vulcan pay for the streetcar. We're giving Paul Allen nearly $300 million to improve six blocks of HIS property. Why can't he step up and pay for the streetcar that serves his South Lake Union?

  3. Comment
    Community Member

    You could walk somewhere in the time it takes to wait for the streetcar. If it connected to other public transportation it may have been useful, but as it is, it serves little purpose.

  4. Comment
    Mark Early

    My understanding is the initial ridership counts were done by the streetcar drivers as personal estimates (how can that be unbiased). No slam on the drivers, but the management wants high ridership numbers so the drivers likely feel pressured to provide them.

    Even so, the ridership is abysmal. Approximately 800 boardings a day, stepping on at your starting point, then boarding again to return back from your destination is counted as two "boardings". So we are talking about maybe 400 real riders a day. The bus routes these silly expensive cho-cho trains replaced carried more riders, gave them more stops to choose from, more frequently and for one/third the cost to operate and maintain.

    A streetcar's real purpose is TOD - Transit Oriented Development, increasing the tax base, which is dubious depending on which experts you pay for, just like the experts who testify that tax money spent on sports stadiums are great investments... hogwash. Quoting Bill Clinton and Bill Gates; "it all depends on what is - is." Lying with statistics is an art form now.

    Seattle City gov and downtown developers want to increase the value of their land (tax base) by restricting cars, forcing the public onto buses and killing the suburbs (too much time to commute into work if the streets are always clogged will force yuppies to purchase condos in-town.) Paul Allen wins and Seattle Gov gets more tax money to spend without raising the tax rates.

  5. Comment
    Community Member

    The SLUT wanders across traffic lanes like a drunken sailor, wreaking havoc in its wake. It runs down the left westbound lane of Fairview before veering left into the LEFT turn lane. Then it turns RIGHT across all lanes of Fairview at the intersection of Valley St! It also bolixes up the light at that intersection, freezing traffic on westbound Fairview for an extra red light while affording northbound traffic on Fairview an extra green light. Two blocks later, it again veers across all six lanes of Valley St when it goes south on Westlake. This generates a lot of road rage just for the convenience of 6 riders.

  6. Comment
    Community Member

    I recommend the opposite. Extend the streetcar system. Portland has an excellent system, and we should strive to emulate this.

  7. Comment
    Community Member

    I would like to suggest high speed undergound electric trains. They have been proven to work well for over 100 years in Boston, New York, Paris and London.

    Streetcars and buses are constrained by the automobile traffic.