Eastlake is a very strong corridor for high-capacity transit that has both high, long-distance ridership and good efficiency metrics. The proposed route would begin at Roosevelt station, absorb and improve the SLU streetcar (if rail), and use a 4th/5th Avenue couplet to complete its run through downtown. Routes 70 and 66 would be eliminated. These operating savings help give the Eastlake streetcar the lowest net operating cost per new rider, at 65 cents per head.
For the rail option, weekday ridership is strong (25,000 a day in 2030, only 1,000 less than Ballard) and the $253m capital cost is substantially lower than Ballard. Using my preferred cost-effectiveness metric, Annualized Net Cost per New Rider, BRT is the second most effective corridor/mode combination in the study at $2.28. Rail is fourth overall (behind the First Ave streetcar) at $2.73, while “enhanced bus” has the worst ratio in the entire study at $5.83.
In general, there is not exclusive right-of-way for this corridor, except for downtown and perhaps Fairview/Eastlake.