Frequently asked questions About the Seattle Streetcar
|Seattle: Streetcars are great!
How does riding the streetcar work?
Board at any of the 11 stops shown on the South Lake Union line map. You can check arrival times on-line or at the station. You can purchase a ticket on the platform before your trip or on-board if you do not have an ORCA card or valid Metro bus transfer.
If you are using a mobility device or a stroller, you can choose to press the blue button marked with a wheelchair symbol to deploy the bridge-plate that bridges the small gap between the streetcar and the platform.
Press the yellow stop request strip to request your stop. The next stop is announced by audio and shown on a digital message display.
For more infomation, read our presentation: Seattle Streetcar - Looking Out for Your Safety
How much does it cost to ride it?
Adult Fare: $2.50
Reduced Fare (65 and over, persons with disabilities & persons with Medicare cards): $.75
Youth (ages 6-17): $1.25
Children 5 and under ride free!
Can I use ORCA?
Yes, show your ORCA card as proof of payment when requested by a fare supervisor. The City is currently working with King County Metro and the ORCA system vendor to develop ORCA card readers for the Seattle Streetcar.
What happens if I don't buy a ticket?
If you do not have a ticket, ORCA card or Metro transfer, Metro’s fare supervisors will ask you to purchase a ticket on-board, or to disembark.
How long does the trip take on the South Lake Union Line?
A one-way trip from the Westlake Hub terminus to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center terminus takes 10 to 15 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
Can I take my bike on the streetcar?
Yes, bikes are allowed, space permitting, in the center section of the streetcars. There are no internal or external bike racks, please hold your bike upright while riding.
See our First Hill and Network pages for information on next steps.
Why streetcars anyway - why not a bus?
Streetcars can carry more riders per trip than a bus, and they tend to attract more riders because of their ease of access and ride quality. They also help to catalyze and organize economic development. This makes them a good choice for certain high-density corridors.
What makes them different from light rail?
Streetcars are small light rail vehicles. They can more easily fit into established urban neighborhoods because of their size, but they do not carry as many people as larger light rail vehicles. Typically, light rail is built with its own lane, in a tunnel or elevated to provide a faster, more reliable trip.
How many people ride the South Lake Union line?
There were over 700,000 rides in 2011, and ridership is continuing to grow. During peak summer months, ridership exceeds 3,000 weekday riders.
Projected ridership for First Hill?
Ridership on the First Hill line is expected to be 3,000 to 3,500 per day.
Bikes and the streetcar are a problem right?
Bicycle tires can become caught in the streetcar tracks if a rider attempts to cross the tracks at a shallow angle. When crossing the streetcar tracks on your bike, use caution and cross at angle as close to 90 degrees as possible.
Who operates the streetcars?
King County Metro operates the Seattle Streetcar through an agreement with the City of Seattle.