“We are now anticipating a Fall 2013 opening for First Hill Streetcar service,” Ethan Malone of the City’s Department of Transportation told us.
Earlier in the year, the City optimistically put forward a plan for opening the line in 2012. Sound Transit is responsible for capital costs up to $132m. The City will begin construction in 2012 and is responsible for any construction overruns. Sound Transit will fund the line’s operating costs.
As the map at right indicates, the actual alignment of the streetcar is not yet determined, and will go through the Environmental Impact Statement process until 2011.
In other streetcar news, Ben reports that operators on the SLUT are announcing that on Thursday and Friday this week, Metro and SDOT will be experimenting with 12.5 minute headways instead of 15. SDOT spokesperson Rick Sheridan said that the plan is not yet confirmed because “Metro Transit is still finalizing some details.” In terms of the rationale, Sheridan said:
With ridership continuing to increase and more businesses moving into South Lake Union, the city wants to ensure that it can accommodate any additional ridership growth. By ending layovers at the end of each run and reallocating current staff, this experiment tests the line’s ability to increase frequency and capacity through slight modifications.