This morning, the Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee advanced an extension of the interlocal agreement between SDOT and King County Metro for operation and maintenance of the two existing streetcar lines on First Hill and in South Lake Union.
Yesterday, the City Council voted out of committee a bill authorizing an additional $9 million to continue design and planning for the controversial Center City Connector streetcar. It now goes to the full Council for final approval.
The Mayor’s Office finally released a much-anticipated update on the Center City Streetcar project today.
The good news: Mayor Durkan now wants the project to move forward, and there are no engineering issues that can’t be addressed.
The bad news: the cost has gone up again.
As promised, here’s an update on what more I’ve learned about the finances of the Center City Connector streetcar project.
If you think the Center City Connector streetcar project got put on hold because it’s overbudget, then you misunderstood what just happened. It’s on hold because the city doesn’t know how much it will cost, either to build it or to run it. It also doesn’t seem to be sure how much funding there is for it.
The problem here isn’t that the streetcar is a bad idea (though some people certainly believe that). The problem is that SDOT is a mess and incapable of managing the project.