As we’ve alluded to plenty of times already, private money is playing a big role in ensuring the continual operation of the South Lake Union Streetcar. A variety of neighborhood employers have now agreed to pitch in $204,000 to extend three-car operation (leaving a fourth as a spare) through mid-2014, which maintains peak headways at 10 minutes:
- Group Health–$7,500
- Amazon.com $166,500
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center—$20,000
- UW Medicine $10,000
On top of the funding for streetcar operations, Amazon is also paying for a sizable public benefits package that includes extending the extra service for 10 years, along with a number of other improvements to compensate for alleyway vacation as part of the Denny redevelopment.
According to the Mayor’s office, streetcar ridership has also exceeded projections, with over 2,900 average weekday boardings in September, 40% higher than the original forecast.