The P-I ran a bizarre article about the streetcar saying how its expensive and only as fast a bus, but may get a bunch of different riders:

Mari Stobbe, a manager at the nearby Autism Spectrum Treatment and Research Center who came in for coffee a short time later, also said she’d ride the streetcar. “I’d never take a bus. I’ve never been on a bus. I’ve never had any desire to be on a bus,” she said. “(But) the streetcar seems like it would have a different feel.”

That’s the stuff I like to hear. Imagine what real rapid rail transit would do.

And the streetcar also would help handle those moving into the 6,000 housing units and 3 million square feet of office space either recently built or coming within four blocks of the line, Seattle transportation director Grace Crunican said in the same briefing.

Anyway in the name of being “balanced” there is a bunch of stuff about how silly the streetcar is, and how “SLUT” is such a funny acronym. Yuk yuk yuk.

6 Replies to “Bizarre Streetcar Piece”

  1. I’ve riden across muni tracks in SF and never had a problem.
    I’ll take my bike down to SLU this weekend to see what all the noise is about

  2. Be careful!! The bikers are right. I have seen many crash and burn since the tracks were there. However, before it was one way only northbound. I would if I were a biker use 9th Ave N one block west to get into downtown.

  3. I forgot to make my comment about the article, oops. I think this article was mis-titled, I didn’t get the feeling that it was anti streetcar in the body. True test comes next week though! Any bets on whether it will be busy? My bet is it will be, there is a lot of excitement around everytime they pass by, and they are getting very frequent now. Also, I noticed the line is actually nice because not a lot of people drive on Westlake currently, and the streetcars really get to moving. They are joking when they say pay attention. They are quiet and very fast. Or at least it feels that way. Also, there are new restraunts coming into the Westlake corridor, so I see this being really good for the streetcar as well. It really will be a symbiotic relationship for the growth of SLU.

  4. The thing about streetcars is that they’re neat. They’re cool. That’ll get people to TRY them who may not have tried buses, but it won’t get them to stay – because they’re just as slow as buses and a smidgeon LESS reliable (bus can change lanes to get around a stalled vehicle or a wreck; or can be detoured temporarily).

    Streetcar vulgaris, as I’ve been calling these buses-on-rails, is a HUGE mistake, without a captive market. When you’re trying to attract people who won’t ride the bus today, you’d better offer a choice which is objectively better than the bus, because the neat/cool factor wears off after a day or two.

  5. In this case, I think there is enough of a captive audience to make it work. SLU is a bit too far to walk from Westlake and the transit tunnel and it’s more frequent than all but a handful of bus lines.

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