First Hill Streetcar

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First Hill Streetcar
Overview
Type Streetcar
Status Under Construction
Termini Pioneer Square, Downtown Seattle
Capitol Hill Station, Capitol Hill
Stations 10
Website First Hill Streetcar
Operation
Owner City of Seattle
Operator(s) King County Metro
Character At grade, in mixed traffic
Depot(s) 8th Ave S & S Dearborn St, Seattle
Rolling stock Inekon Trio 12
Technical
Line length 2.5 miles (4.0 km)[1]
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification Overhead lines, 750 V DC
Route map
Broadway E. & E Roy St (2016)
Broadway E. & E. Republican St (2016)
Broadway E. & Harrison St (2016)
Broadway & E Denny Way (2016)
Link Light Rail Link Light Rail (Capitol Hill Station)
Broadway & Howell St
Broadway & E Pine St
Broadway & Pike St
Broadway & Marion St
Broadway & E Terrace St
Broadway & Terrace St
E Yesler Way & Broadway
14th Ave S & S. Washington St
13th Ave & S. Jackson St
to maintenance facility
7th Ave & S. Jackson St
5th Ave & S. Jackson St
Link Light Rail Link Light Rail (Int'l District/Chinatown)
Sounder and Amtrak (King Street Station)
Occidental Ave S. & S. Jackson St

northbound / outbound only stop
southbound / inbound only stop

The Seattle Streetcar—First Hill Line, commonly called the First Hill Streetcar, is a 2.5-mile (4.0 km)[1] modern-streetcar line[2] under construction in Seattle. The line will connect the Capitol Hill, First Hill, and the International District neighborhoods in central Seattle. It will be part of the Seattle Streetcar Network. Construction began in April 2012,[3] and was completed in June 2014. The line is projected to open in 2015 pending completion, delivery, and testing of the streetcars.[4][5][6]

History[edit]

First Hill is considered a regional destination due to its concentration of major medical facilities and Seattle University. It was to be served by a deep-bore Link light rail station as part of the North Link project. Due to high construction and engineering risk, Sound Transit removed the station from the North Link preferred route in July 2005. The First Hill Work Program did a study to evaluate alternative transit options to connect First Hill to the regional transit system. Neighborhood residents, institutions, and business owners strongly preferred a streetcar.[7] Sound Transit plans to have 10 stops on the line.[4]

The $134 million[3] line is funded as part of the Sound Transit 2 mass transit expansion ballot measure approved by voters in November 2008. It was approved by the Seattle City Council in December 2008.[8] Sound Transit developed an interlocal agreement with the City of Seattle for the City to design and construct the transit line.[9] Construction began in late April 2012,[10] and the line is scheduled to open in 2015.[4][6]

There had been a debate on the exact routing of the First Hill streetcar line. A community group petitioned the city of Seattle to run the streetcar down 12th Avenue, 2 blocks east of Broadway. The First Hill Improvement Association, however, wanted the streetcar to run down Boren Avenue, turn right on Seneca Street and back to Broadway to bring it closer to the core of the neighborhood.[11] The City selected a route on Broadway.

Vehicles[edit]

First Hill Streetcars under construction

The streetcars are being built by Inekon Trams, of the Czech Republic, the same company that built the vehicles for Seattle Streetcar's South Lake Union line. The vehicles are based on Inekon's bi-directional 12-Trio model.

The First Hill Streetcar line will require six streetcars (five in normal operation and an additional operational spare) for the initial segment. The Broadway extension will require at least one additional car in order to maintain the desired service frequency. Of the initial six cars, three are being assembled at Inekon's facilities in the Czech Republic and the remaining three will be assembled locally in Seattle by Pacifica Marine.

Unlike the existing fleet of streetcars, the First Hill Streetcar line will operate using the Overhead lines for the outbound/northbound/uphill leg and under battery power for the inbound/southbound/downhill leg of the route. Production is behind schedule due to design safety as well as component supply issues, and this has delayed the line's opening until at least early 2015.[5]

Route and stops[edit]

The southern terminus of the FHSC, located on South Jackson Street at Occidental Avenue in Pioneer Square.

The First Hill Streetcar line will begin at S. Jackson Street & Occidental Avenue in Pioneer Square. The line continues east on S. Jackson Street stopping at 5th Ave in the International District near the International District/Chinatown light rail/bus station, and at both 7th and 13th Avenues. The line then turns north on 14th Avenue S. stopping at S. Washington St before turning west on Yesler Way. After a stop at E. Yesler Way and Broadway, the line turns north onto Broadway stopping at Terrace St, Marion St, and Pike/Pine before terminating near the Capitol Hill Link light rail station at Broadway and Denny Way.

Stations[edit]

Each of the station platforms features an inlaid map showing each of the stops and their corresponding elevation above sea level. The actual station being depicted is marked with an embedded LED light. Each station offers a shelter with seating as well as real-time arrival information and off-board payment using ORCA Card. In addition ticket TVMs will be installed at each stop.

Broadway extension[edit]

Currently, funding has been secured for the design work on an extension to north Broadway[12] which will include a new stop at Broadway & Harrison St and a new terminus at Broadway & E. Roy St. In addition, the extension of the line will also include extending the Broadway Protected Bike Lane all the way to E. Roy Street.

Center City Connector[edit]

In 2014, the City of Seattle approved the Locally Preferred Alternative for the Center City Connector via Resolution 31526[13] which will connect the First Hill Streetcar Occidental Street terminus to the South Lake Union line via dedicated streetcar lanes on 1st Avenue. The Federal Transit Administration has since approved the City of Seattle’s request for entry into project development.[14]

Stops[edit]

Name Neighborhood Elevation Direction Notes
First Hill Streetcar
Occidental Ave & S. Jackson Street Pioneer Square 26ft / 8m Southern Terminus Connections to Washington State Ferries, King County Water Taxi. Serves Occidental Park, CenturyLink Field, Safeco Field, Waterfront, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.
5th Ave & S. Jackson Street Chinatown/International District 55ft / 16m North & South Connections to Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and King Street Station. Serves Uwajimaya
7th Ave & S. Jackson Street Chinatown/International District 104ft / 31m North & South Serves Wing Luke Asian Museum, Kobe Terrace.
13th Ave & S. Jackson Street Little Saigon/International District 173ft / 53m North & South Serves Little Saigon/International District
14th Ave S & S. Washington Street Central District 187ft / 57m North & South Serves Central District
E. Yesler Way & Broadway Yesler Terrace 257ft / 78m North & South Serves Yesler Terrace Shared with King County Metro Rt. 60 & 27 buses.
Broadway & Terrace Street First Hill 339ft / 103m South Serves Harborview Medical Center. Shared with King County Metro Rt. 9 bus.
Broadway & E. Terrace Street First Hill 337ft / 103m North Serves Harborview Medical Center. Shared with King County Metro Rt. 9 bus.
Broadway & Marion Street First Hill 355ft / 108m North & South Serves Seattle University, Swedish Medical Center Shared with King County Metro Rt. 9 bus.
Broadway & Pike Street Pike/Pine 292ft / 89m South Serves Seattle Central Community College. Shared with King County Metro Rt. 9 & 60 buses.
Broadway & E. Pine Street Pike/Pine 312ft / 95m North Serves Seattle Central Community College. Shared with King County Metro Rt. 9 & 60 buses.
Broadway & Howell Street Capitol Hill 335ft / 102m Northern Terminus Connection to Capitol Hill Station of Link Light Rail. Serves Cal Anderson Park.
End of line (2014)
Broadway Extension (2016)
Broadway & E Denny Way * Capitol Hill 347ft / 105m North Connection to Capitol Hill Station of Link Light Rail. Serves Cal Anderson Park.
Broadway E. & E. Republican Street * Capitol Hill 347ft / 105m North Serves Seattle Public Library (Capitol Hill Branch) / Capitol Hill Business District. Shared with King County Metro Rt. 9, 49 & 60 buses.
Broadway E. & Harrison Street * Capitol Hill 347ft / 105m South Serves Seattle Public Library (Capitol Hill Branch) / Capitol Hill Business District. Shared with King County Metro Rt. 9, 49 & 60 buses.
Broadway E. & E. Roy Street Capitol Hill 347ft / 105m Northern Terminus Serves North Capitol Hill Business District.
* station location subject to change
End of line (2016)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "First Hill StreetCar Construction - Frequently Asked Questions". Seattle Streetcar. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ First Hill Connector project description (PDF)
  3. ^ a b Gutierrez, Scott (August 6, 2012). "How the streetcar construction is already changing First Hill". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "First Hill Line - Project Overview". Seattle Streetcar. September 24, 2014. Retrieved September 28, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Lindblom, Mike (September 23, 2014). "First Hill Streetcar delayed: Line is ready, streetcars are not". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2014-10-05. 
  6. ^ a b "First Hill Streetcar delayed until 2015: New plan would move more rider revenue to Seattle". Capitol Hill Seattle blog. September 23, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-28. 
  7. ^ "First Hill Streetcar". Sound Transit. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  8. ^ Mulady, Kathy (December 8, 2008). "Council OKs streetcar network". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  9. ^ "First Hill Streetcar Project Schedule" (PDF). Seattle Streetcar. Winter 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  10. ^ "City of Seattle and Sound Transit Break Ground on the First Hill Streetcar" (Press release). Sound Transit. April 23, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  11. ^ FHIA Letter to Seattle Councilmember Jan Drago (PDF)
  12. ^ "Broadway Streetcar Information - Project Overview". Seattle Streetcar. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Center City Connector - Project Overview". Seattle Streetcar. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Center City Connector - FTA Approval". Federal Transit Administration. Retrieved July 21, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°36′18″N 122°19′15″W / 47.60489°N 122.320815°W / 47.60489; -122.320815