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Seattle Streetcar Reports 18-percent Ridership Increase!

Seattle Streetcar, in Capitol Hill Neighborhood

Seattle Streetcar, Capitol Hill Neighborhood


The Seattle Streetcar Program remains committed to continued safety and reliability plus additional data collection.


Providing easy access to Metro transit routes, Link light rail, and the Sounder is paying off for the Seattle Streetcar program and its 1.7 million annual riders. In 2018, our Seattle Streetcar program saw an 18-percent ridership increase, which includes a 31-percent increase on the First Hill line.


Streetcar performance + citywide public transit enhancements = MORE transportation options for South Lake Union

While South Lake Union (SLU) ridership has remained consistent over the past three years with a slight four-percent decrease in 2018, we are pleased with overall ridership levels in the area. The Seattle Streetcar program sees the small decline as a direct reflection of the City’s successful efforts to increase city-wide transit service and multi-modal options and the availability of these opportunities to SLU riders.


Moving forward . . .  Seattle Streetcar program seeks appropriations to advance Center City Connector

And speaking of more transit options, we are requesting a $9-million appropriation to perform essential engineering and design work for the Center City Connector project.


After Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a robust, independent review of the project in 2018 and revised the capital and operating cost estimates, which placed the project on better financial footing, we are now prepared to move forward with necessary projects activities including everything from platform and maintenance facility modifications, to roadway structure analysis, and essential design work.


All aboard! Next stop: accountability+ strong streetcar management = brand-new transit line

Today, we thrive under strong new leadership and a solid streetcar team committed to sound fiscal program management. We are fully committed to building a system that works financially and programmatically. Program staff is also looking at ways to expand its data collection to better understand ridership trends and demographics and strengthen operations.


Streetcar Center City Connector Line

Streetcar Center City Connector Line


In case you didn’t know, the Center City Connector is designed to add a critical link in the Seattle Streetcar network, proving millions of residents and visitors with easy access to dozens of popular local destinations between the First Hill and South Lake Union lines. It also links transit riders to regional bus routes, ferries at Colman Dock, and the continued expansion of the regional Link Light Rail network.



Center City Connector Stations

Center City Connector Stations


In addition, the project will build on the City’s investments in providing affordable transit opportunities through ORCA Lift, ORCA Opportunity and ORCA Youth to thousands of downtown households who need affordable transit options most.


Thank you Seattleites, Streetcar Supporters, Seattle City Council, and the Sustainability and Transportation Committee

Tuesday, July 30, SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe, Seattle Streetcar Manager Chris Eilerman and Center City Connector Project Manager Eric Tweit  will meet with the Sustainability and Transportation Committee to give a streetcar operation report on the existing streetcar lines, plus request the $9 million appropriation to move forward with essential work to advance the Center City Connector project.

Our leadership and the streetcar team are incredibly grateful for the time, energy and patience Seattle, the Streetcar Coalition and the Council has afforded the Department over the last year as it worked through an organizational re-alignment and adjustments to position the C3 project for success. With new leadership and dedicated program and project teams, we are confident it can responsibly deliver the Center City Connector project.  Seattle residents, businesses, and visitors deserve the best. And we are committed to giving its best in service to all.


Learn more about the Seattle Streetcar Program.