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Monorail and Light Rail In Seattle


I hope this isn't a repeated topic.

This taken from the Seattle Monorail project's website at http://www.elevated.org/
In November 2002, Seattle voters approved Petition #1 to fund the building of the 14-mile Monorail Green Line, “Phase 1” of a proposed 5-line city wide monorail system. The Green Line will connect Ballard, Key Arena, Seattle Center, Belltown, Downtown, Benaroya Hall, Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, the International District, the ferry terminal, King Street Station, SODO, Safeco Field, the Seahawks Stadium and West Seattle. The Green Line will carry millions of people each year, above traffic with easy connections to buses, ferries, light rail and trains.

The Seattle Popular Monorail Authority (Seattle Monorail Project) is an independent city transportation authority established under state law (RCW Ch. 35.95A), charged with building, owning, operating and maintaining the monorail system.

The project is governed by a nine member board of directors, led by an Executive Director and staff, and supported by consultants and volunteers.

The project will break ground in 2005, with segments opening in 2007. The entire Green Line is scheduled to be in operation in 2009.

Project Benefits
Provides 69,000 daily trips
Elevated, does not get stuck in traffic
Runs on electricity, does not pollute
Trains every 4 minutes - even in rush hour
Travel is fast and efficient
4 1/2 minutes from Queen Anne to Pike Place Market
5 minutes from the downtown retail core to Safeco Field
15 minutes from West Seattle to Key Arena
Easy connections with buses, ferries, light rail and trains
Uses state-of-the-art transportation technology

The mentioned light rail is currently under construction with more information here- http://www.soundtransit.org/linkrail/central/central.htm

Here is a map of what the system could look like some day-

These are some visualizations of what some stations could look like-

I think this is very exciting for a city with such horrible traffic. I should be great for getting people who wouldn't ride buses to use mass transit.

I like the idea of monorails for the aforementioned reasons, but also because it establishes a sense of place unique to Seattle. Like New York and its subways or Chicago and its El, Seattle will have its monorails.

Besides Seattle's current monorail, I've also ridden Japanese monorails, which integrate seemlessly into the rest of their transit system. Apparently they hold up well to earthquakes as an added benefit (which is good news for the earthquake-prone puget sound area.)

Anyway, mass transit has been long overdue in Seattle, but it's great that it's finally happening.


Too bad that after the Light rail line opens in 2009 it will take Sound Transit 2 more years to build a light rail station in the Seattle's airport - busing people from the airport to the light rail station is not really a sound option, "sound transit" !
No matter what, nothing (LRT or Monorail - or also visioned Streetcar to fill a void between the other two systems in South Lake Union) built this late in the evolution of Seattle's urban neighborhoods and the obvious physical features present will be on the cheap. It's been amazing to watch the city powers-that-be stay embroiled in controversy for so many years. If that taxi cab driver had only had his epiphany 15 or 20 years earlier...

Anyhow, I hate talking Sound Transit (mainly their Central Link LRT)...heh.

King County Monorail goes on the ballot in November ('04.)
A couple of options layed out on maps below:


Purple Line - Seattle to Sammamish
 18 miles
  Red Line - Bothell to Auburn
 35 miles  
  Green Line - Northgate to Woodinville
 10 miles  
  Blue Line - Seattle to Issaquah
 17 miles  
  Orange Line - Tukwila to Federal Way
 15 miles  
  Turquoise Line - Sea-Tac to Burien
 5 miles  
  Total Length:
 115 miles  
  Total Cost (est):
 $9.7 Billion*  
  Daily Riders (est):
 over 400,000


Red Line - Bothell to Federal Way
 37 miles  
  Green Line - Northgate to Bothell**
 8 miles  
  Orange Line - Seattle to Redmond
 14 miles  
  Total Length:
 59 miles  
  Total Cost (est):
 $5.0 Billion*  
  Daily Riders (est):
 over 200,000


Nearly lost in the Sound Transit fuss is the fact Tacoma opened it's tiny rail line already. A quickie Downtown Theatre District to Tacoma Dome line. Sounder transfer avail. at the latter stop.

Here's my artsy-fartsy photo of Tacoma's ST Link, using only 3 Czech-built Skoda cars and charging nothing:


They should get one of these to replace the Sounder line-

267 miles per hour of sheer alternative mass transit bliss as you glide from Portland to Vancouver. A fools dream? Perhaps, but you got to admit it would be cool.

I think they really have to get their stuff together as far as service to the airport is concerned. I wish they would just commit to monorail and be done with it.
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My impression of Seattle is that outside downtown, Denny Regrade, and maybe Capital Hill, it is so less density that a light rail system like this may not make any sense???

What do I know :)