…not a modern one. Sure it’s cute, and it goes under the Viaduct and they extended it to go to the International District (all the way to King Street Station), but it’s not modern, and doesn’t attract the ridership that would be useful because:

a) It doesn’t go far enough. It basically serves the waterfront and that’s it. It would have to go to at least the Seattle Center to actually be useful.

b) It is rickety and slow. It’s more of a tourist attraction than a useful transit scheme.

I think the streetcar’s usefulness is exhibited by how empty it is everytime I ride on it. For contrast, the Elliot Bay Water Taxi has been packed each time I have been on it.
c) It doesn’t serve a corridor that is populated by businesses or inhabited by people. If it actually went through Belltown, it’d be a different story, but as it is now, it’s only useful for going to the waterfront.

3 Replies to “George Benson line is a streetcar but…”

  1. d) It’s extremely poorly-publicized. I work at the Art Institute of Seattle (on Vine between Alaskan and Elliott), and so might actually find the streetcar useful for going to the ID or Pioneer Square (bus connections that don’t involve walking up the incredibly steep blocks between Elliott and 1st? What?), but I actually had understood that they were no longer running the streetcar. Was that temporary? When did they turn it back on?

  2. It is suspended at the moment because of construction in the area. Particularly the Art Museum, the Sculpture park, the trolley barn, and the Jackson street line extendsion. So now, it is metro bus line 99, but it should be back on sometime soon.

  3. It has always seemed like a toy to me – a tourist attraction like Grayline double decker buses, or our other more famous (and expensive) toy the monorail. Hopefully we’re now moving towards real transit solutions that actually go somewhere!

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