SDOT’s Maria Koengeter also filled us in on a few details of the project, which is slated for opening in 2019, assuming it gets funding (such as the Move Seattle levy). She indicated that, while no decisions have been made, the agency currently prefers the idea of a “closed system” that would look and feel more like a rubber-tire version of the Seattle Streetcar than a traditional Metro bus. Depending on how the system was designed, however, it’s possible that Metro buses could use the same right-of-way.
If the system is extended to MLK, the assumption is that trolley wire would be built the whole distance. We’d initially heard that articulated coaches couldn’t sustain the vertical bending required to climb Madison, but SDOT is confident that they can spec vehicles that can handle the climb. SDOT would work with Metro to determine service hours and operating revenues as the project develops.
The survey closes May 24.