When the South Lake Union streetcar debuted in 2007, I made fun of it. It was only 1.3 miles long! It got stuck in traffic. It sometimes smelled like farts! Who would ride the thing? Guess I was wrong:
This was the scene a couple mornings ago at the Westlake Avenue terminus, where lots of workers were waiting for the train with about 20 more people who were standing outside the photo frame. The average weekday ridership on the streetcar in 2011 was 2,500 people, or 715,000 riders over the year, according to the city. And that's for a line that is basically a toy train. So when the Seattle Department of Transportation estimates that a streetcar line from downtown to Ballard could carry 26,000 people per day, I can see it working, especially if it can override traffic lights like the light-rail line.