As Seattle inches closer toward opening it new—and delayed—streetcar service on its First Hill route, safety takes center stage in tours this week.
The Seattle Department of Transportation announced safety information as part of a tour of stationary streetcars for Thursday, Dec. 3, noting that the frequency of simulation of service on the First Hill Streetcar line has started to pick up as crews move toward opening the new line.
The Dec. 3 event includes information on staying safe whether driving, biking, walking or riding the streetcar.
Soon the line will open with 10 more stops between Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square. In late November, crews installed station wayfinding maps to help plan trips, including information on connections to existing service. The streetcar manufacturer, Inekon, a Czech company, has also completed “acceptance tests” on five streetcars, which are now in post-performance testing that checks the reliability after crews complete final inspections and put on the finishing touches of each car.
Expect to see the cars moving throughout the route alignment with more regularity as the six-car fleet progesses toward an opening date, although that date has still not been announced. Originally, officials hoped to have the streetcars operating in summer 2015, but delays from the manufacturer pushed the opening to the fall. Further delays moved that opening as well.
The First Hill Streetcar will link to Sound Transit light rail at the Capitol Hill Station and International District Station, as well as Sounder Commuter Rail and Amtrak intercity rail at King Street Station. The 10 stops connect the neighborhoods and business districts of Capitol Hill, First Hill, Yesler Terrace, Central Area, Chinatown-International District and Pioneer Square while serving key medical centers, Seattle Central College, Seattle University and major sporting venues CenturyLink Field and Safeco Field.
Follow Tim Newcomb on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.