Tacoma Urbanist

Dec. 12, 2007 at 12:38am

Seattle PI: Streetcar Will Boost Business

The benefit to Tacoma of having streetcars again is sometimes characterized as being an "extra" as if the street car is a just a fun trolley of sorts.

However, in Seattle, the streetcar appears to be an economic driver in the city and they are adding more lines:

Seattle Streetcar expected to boost retail business

(December 11, 2007)

Companies hope new streetcar line boosts visibility, and business


With about 330,000 people a year expected to travel by his business, Bob Bellar figured it was a no-brainer to open his first restaurant along Seattle's South Lake Union Streetcar line.

"It's a fantastic spot to have my flagship," said Bellar, owner of The Great Northwest Soup Co. "It's the new Seattle. ... I wanted to be in there on the ground up."...

The Great Northwest Soup Co. is among more than 100 retail businesses within a few blocks of the 1.3-mile line, which begins passenger service at 12:12 p.m. The line runs between Westlake Avenue and Olive Way (Pacific Place Station) to Fairview Avenue North and Ward Street (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Station)....

...Michael Mann, deputy director in Seattle's office of policy and management, said the 330,000 people who are projected to ride the streetcar during its first year "will be face to face with the retail establishments."...

In Portland, which began its streetcar line in July 2001 and now has an eight-mile loop, some retailers have used the line to boost business, said Kay Dannen, a community relations manager for Portland Streetcar Inc.

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If there is another transportation package that comes before voters or elected officials, Tacomans may be better off using these funds for restoring streetcar service to the city which has a well established beneficial effect to Tacoma.  Whereas building more remote road building projects to the suburbs, disbursing the population, over the last 30 years has not.

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