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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

September 21, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Amazon offers millions for better streetcar service in South Lake Union

Service on Seattle’s South Lake Union streetcar would improve in the near future, with a train arriving every 10 minutes, if officials approve an offer by Amazon to fund a fourth rail car.

Amazon would pay $5.5 million to the city, as compensation for taking city-owned alley space to build its high-rise Denny Triangle campus, Mayor Mike McGinn announced this morning.

That amount includes $3.7 million for a rail car, plus money for two blocks of separated bikeway, called a cycletrack, along part of Seventh Avenue.  The existing streetcar line skirts the edges of two planned Amazon buildings, while Seventh Avenue runs through the complex, as can be seen from the map at right.

Streetcars on the SLU line run every 15 minutes now, and every 10 minutes apart in late afternoon using all three rail cars. Several trains a day are filled with Amazon workers, who connect to other transit at Westlake Center. Amazon would pay 10 years of operating expenses for the additional train, a Seattle Department of Transporation presentation says.

The proposal goes to the City Council’s Transportation Committee on Tuesday, with a council vote expected in mid-December. Construction of the first of three tall Amazon buildings could begin as early as next year.

Comments | More in Government, Traffic & Transit | Topics: Amazon, South Lake Union, streetcar

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