Wednesday, October 19, 2005

More details on the new line

From an informative sidebar in yesterday's Times article
Twelve stations: A 13th stop at Madison Street would be added if SMP can acquire federally owned land there.

A $1.7 billion price: With almost four miles of track removed, including a bridge to Ballard, the project is cheaper than the earlier $2.1 billion to $2.2 billion for 14 miles and 16 stations.

Car-tab taxes for 31 to 38 years: SMP defends an earlier prediction that collections from its car-tab tax will grow 6.1 percent per year, which would pay for the shorter line in 31 years. Outside economists and the city favor a more cautious rate of 5 percent, which SMP says would mean a 38-year payoff. A June plan for the longer line required 50 years or longer.

More-frequent service: Trains would arrive every six minutes apart downtown — two minutes faster than under the plan released in June.

Single-tracked West Seattle Bridge: SMP is still proposing to have trains coming and going from downtown take turns on one rail. The agency and prospective builders have discussed a redesign that would allow a second track to be added someday if the bridge becomes a bottleneck. Dual tracks would cost about twice the current $32 million for planting a single track on the existing high-level bridge.


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