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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Seattle Streetcar Celebrates Successful Half-Year of Service

6/12/2008  9:00:00 AM
Rick Sheridan, (206) 684-8540

Seattle Streetcar Celebrates Successful Half-Year of Service
Quarter million riders embrace South Lake Union’s streetcar

SEATTLE - The South Lake Union line of the Seattle Streetcar celebrated a successful half-year of service today by rapidly approaching the quarter-million passenger milestone.

Since its inaugural ride at 12:12 p.m. on Dec. 12, 2007, the Seattle Streetcar has provided people a new transportation choice for traveling between the downtown, Denny Triangle and South Lake Union areas. Thanks to strong public support, the city’s first modern streetcar has served more than 245,000 passengers, surging past the forecasted 175,000 riders expected in its first six months of operation. Approximately 1,200 passengers use the streetcar daily to travel to places of work, shopping and scenic destinations along its route.

“The Seattle Streetcar launched with tremendous public support and these impressive ridership numbers show that its momentum continues,” said Mayor Greg Nickels. “The people of Seattle want more solutions for moving around the city and they clearly appreciate what our streetcar offers. Quick, convenient and carbon-free, it is the future face of transportation in our city.”

The city planned for 950 riders a day, for a total of 350,000 annually, during the Seattle Streetcar’s first year of operation. After an introductory free-ride period in December, paid streetcar ridership averaged 970 per day in January and has increased every subsequent month to its current daily average of approximately 1,200. The city is now evaluating options to expand the Seattle Streetcar to connect neighborhoods such Fremont, Ballard, Eastlake, the University District, and the Central District to center city neighborhoods including the Chinatown-International District, Pioneer Square, Uptown, South Lake Union, the waterfront and the retail core. For more information about the future of the streetcar system, visit the Seattle Streetcar’s network page online at

View Ridership Graph (PDF format)

About the South Lake Union Line of the Seattle Streetcar:

The South Lake Union line of the Seattle Streetcar is a 2.6-mile (round-trip) passenger rail line connecting South Lake Union to the Westlake Hub. The line is served by three new, modern streetcars that make 11 stops along the route. Operated by King County Metro Transit, the Streetcar is part of Seattle’s transportation network. Fares are $1.75 for adults, 50 cents for senior citizens (ages 65 and over), 50 cents for youth (ages 6-17), and free for children ages 5 and under. Metro Transit passes, Pugetpass or bus transfers are honored. Trip planning assistance and streetcar schedules are available at The Seattle Streetcar’s Web site also features the Nextbus system, a Global Positioning System (GPS) based technology that alerts passengers to streetcar arrival times at the 11 stops, making it easy to schedule and plan a trip.

Want to show your support for the Seattle Streetcar? You can now go online to and purchase the official Seattle Streetcar T-shirt.

Visit the mayor’s web site at Get the mayor’s inside view on efforts to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at


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