SDOT is nearing completion of the construction of the Belltown-Uptown Trolley Electrification project. This project extends trolley wires and related infrastructure on eastbound Denny Way between First and Third Avenues, and a short segment of Third Avenue between Denny and Broad. When the project is finished, Metro routes 1, 2 and 13 will be able to operate on Denny Way and travel times will be reduced by up to two minutes per trip. These trolley routes currently operate a convoluted routing via First Avenue and Broad Street. The new path will shorten the route and eliminate two turns. The revision will also put trolleys on the same route and at the same stops as Metro’s diesel-operated buses, simplifying the rider experience.
This project is a partnership between SDOT and King County Metro. SDOT agreed to fund the design and installation of the poles that are needed to support the trolley wires. King County Metro funded the installation of the wires and the trolley wires through regular crew work. The project is designed to accommodate outbound wires as well, should SDOT approve a new outbound transit-only signal at Third and Denny.
In addition to extending the trolley wires, SDOT and King County Metro are relocating the existing bus stop on Denny at Warren Place to 3rd and Denny. The new bus stop will feature lighting, a bicycle rack, and (later this year) a real time schedule information sign. Metro will contribute two new shelters to the stop, which will provide greater amount of waiting area for bus riders and space for three buses to load and unload rather than one. This is the most significant Metro trolley improvement project since construction of new layover wire on Virginia Street allowed all Route 36 trips to operate as trolleys, saving tens of thousands of gallons of diesel per year.