Seattle gets $900,000 federal grant for streetcar planning
The Federal Transit Administration is backing Seattle's desire for a downtown streetcar line by awarding $900,000 for a city planning study. It also gave King County Metro Transit $5 million for a new roof at its north bus base in Shoreline, and Sound Transit $5.4 million for bus replacements.
Seattle Times transportation reporter
The Federal Transit Administration is backing Seattle's desire for a downtown streetcar line by awarding $900,000 for a city planning study.
The money was among $928.5 million in grants announced Tuesday by federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood — including 26 projects in Washington state worth $49.4 million total. Seattle has earmarked $18 million for streetcar engineering, planning and construction, out of a proposed $60 annual car-tab fee increase on the November ballot. So the FTA money could defray that cost somewhat.
A downtown streetcar could link the South Lake Union line at Westlake Center to the 2013 First Hill line at the Chinatown International District. Officials are weighing whether the best route would take Fourth and Fifth avenues to favor commuters, or First Avenue to favor visitors and Pioneer Square merchants.
Meanwhile, King County Metro Transit will receive $5 million for a new roof at its north bus base in Shoreline, while Sound Transit gets $5.4 million for bus replacements plus $3 million to build bus, walking and bicycling connections for its future South 200th Street light-rail station, to open in 2016.
FTA says it funded about one-third of the projects that states nominated. The biggest winner in Washington state is a $17.9 million maintenance base for Island Transit in Coupeville.
Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or email@example.com
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