Center City Connector
Updated November 10, 2014
The Center City Connector Transit Study Locally Preferred Alternative Resolution was approved by the full City Council on Monday, July 21, 2014.
This legislation approves the Center City Connector Transit Study Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) and recommends endorsement to pursue federal funding for the Center City Connector.
The Center City Connector Transit Study was completed largely during 2013 and represents project planning and early development phases of the Project.
For a description of the technical and outreach steps taken to arrive at an Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) selection and a description of the LPA, please access either the Center City Connector Transit Study Executive Summary or the Report (Volume I & Appendix A). For a more in-depth overview of the study, its technical evaluation, and the community outreach process, please access the Center City Connector Transit Study Detailed Evaluation Report (Volume II) and its appendices.
The Center City Connector Transit Study LPA is a modern streetcar line running in its own center lane on First Avenue from the Westlake intermodal hub to the King Street Station intermodal hub. Two alignments to connect to the Westlake intermodal hub – Stewart Street/Olive Way and Pike Street/Pine Street/4th Avenue/5th Avenue Streets – will be brought forward into the next stages of the project, as described in the “What’s next?” section of this website.
The Center City Connector project will move to the environmental assessment and final design stages. This work will be funded through the 2014-2019 adopted Capital Improvement Program, which has allocated $6.5 million to the project. Please go to the following link for continued updates on the status of this project.
Background and Overview
The Transit Master Plan prioritized four corridors with the highest ridership potential and the greatest need for higher capacity transit service, including the Center City Connector.
The goal of the Center City Connector project is to improve north-south transit mobility and link the First Hill and South Lake Union streetcars through downtown.
With $900,000 from the Federal Transit Administration and $300,000 in local funding, the City is moving forward on a transit study that will look at different street alignment and technology mode (bus, rail) options. The Transit Master Plan identified two potential alignment options – click on the map for details. We will be asking the public for more ideas on a broad range of options.
The outcome of the study will be the selection of a locally preferred alternative (LPA) that has stakeholder support and is backed by a viable financial and implementation plan. This will position the city well for future funding opportunities that will help us design a build a project.
Milestones and Schedule
The table below outlines the project’s key milestones and basic schedule:
Develop project goals and objectives, and evaluation criteria
Identify broad range of alternatives
Complete Tier 1 screening
Complete Tier 2 screening
Identify recommendation for draft locally preferred alternative
Develop implementation and finance plans
Present draft locally preferred alternative to Mayor and City Council
What’s an Alternatives Analysis?
The Alternatives Analysis (AA) will determine the best mode (i.e. streetcar, bus rapid transit, etc), estimated ridership, possible route and stops, and projected costs to build, operate, and maintain a connector in the Center City. The study will help address issues of congestion, economic development, and environmental and social impacts.
SDOT will engage the public throughout the project. At the end of the study, a locally preferred alternative will be identified that best meets the goals and objectives for the corridor.
Completing the AA will provide us with a clear plan moving forward, which will put the City in a strong position to secure federal funding and leverage local partnerships down the road.
Key tasks include:
- Develop goals, objectives, and evaluation criteria
- Analyze existing conditions
- Define alternatives at a conceptual level
- Develop operating plans, ridership forecasts, and capital, operating, and maintenance cost estimates
- Evaluate environmental impacts
- Develop economic development projections
- Develop a locally preferred alternative
How can I get involved?
We will engage the public throughout the project through open house meetings, stakeholder interviews, and online tools.
You can get key staff contact info in our Get Involved section. Even if you can’t join us in-person, you can stay informed – we’ll post presentations and documents in our Meetings & Materials section. We welcome and encourage your questions and ideas.
Project Staff Structure
Scott Kubly, SDOT Director
Project Team: SDOT and Nelson\Nygaard Consulting
Tony Mazzella, Project Manager
Allison Schwartz, Deputy Project Manager
Kevin O’Neil, Planning Manager
Michael James, Strategic Advisor
Bill Bryant, Transit Program Manager
Ethan Melone, Program Manager Seattle Streetcar
Chisaki Muraki-Valdovinos, Special Assistant
Brian Macik, Special Assistant
Tom Brennan, Project Manager
Oren Eschel, Technical Lead
SDOT Executive Advisory Committee
Tracy Krawczyk, Policy and Planning Division Director
Cheryl Swab, Legislative Liaison
Mary Rutherford, Traffic Management Division Director
Goran Sparman, Deputy Director (2012-2014)