The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced that the First Hill Streetcar Line will begin a soft launch of passenger operations beginning Saturday, January 23. The 10-stop line will connect the Chinatown-International District with Capitol Hill, First Hill, the Central District, Little Saigon, and Pioneer Square as part of a continued growth of the Seattle Streetcar system.
SDOT officials wanted the community to know that a larger, more formal grand opening community celebration is still planned in the near future.
“I want to clarify that the intent for this coming Saturday is not to replace the celebratory events we want to hold in our neighborhoods, but to ensure that a soft launch of the FHSC is successful and we can ensure that the streetcar is in fact operational,” said Seattle Department of Transportation director Scott Kubly.
A spokesperson for SDOT said $20,000 has been allocated to be distributed evenly to the stations along the line to aid in costs for later celebrations. SCIDpda will be the fiscal agent sponsor and provide oversight of the community-based event planning and the funding for the formal grand opening celebrations.
SCIDpda said it will be meeting with the members of the Streetcar Working Group in the coming weeks to plan out how the allocated money will be spent on celebrations.