Seattle Streetcar: Lines, Schedules, Fares & FAQ

Looking for a unique way to get around Seattle? Hop aboard the Seattle Streetcar! Opening its first line in 2007, the Seattle Streetcar system is one of the city’s most efficient public transportation routes.

The Seattle Streetcar spans two lines: the South Lake Union Line and the First Hill Line. While the two lines aren’t connected, both feature frequent service (every 10 to 15 minutes) and offer plenty of stops to help whisk you away to some of Seattle’s coolest neighborhoods.

Ready to scoot around Seattle with ease? Learn everything you need to know about the Seattle Streetcar with this complete guide.

Current lines

South Lake Union Streetcar

The first line in the system, the South Lake Union Streetcar Line runs 1.3 miles between the Westlake Hub in Downtown to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the South Lake Union neighborhood.

The South Lake Union Line features seven stops between Westlake and South Lake Union:

  • Westlake Hub (McGraw Square)
  • Westlake & 7th (Denny Triangle)
  • Westlake & 9th (Denny Triangle)
  • Terry & Thomas – Northbound
  • Terry & Mercer – Northbound
  • Westlake & Thomas  – Southbound
  • Westlake & Mercer  – Southbound
  • Lake Union Park (South Lake Union)
  • Fairview & Campus Drive (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

The 1.3-mile journey between the Westlake Hub and Fairview & Campus takes just 10 minutes.

South Lake Union Line

At the Westlake Hub, the South Lake Union line connects to other public transportation in Seattle. From the Westlake & Olive terminus, cross the street to hop onto the Link Light Rail and the Seattle Center Monorail.

Along the route, you’ll also find several connections to Seattle’s city bus routes, including the popular Route 8 linking up Seattle Center, Capitol Hill, and Central District.

Trying to get around Seattle on two wheels? The South Lake Union Line also zips past several Pronto Cycle Share stations and has opportunities to hit up the city’s excellent local bike trail system.

First Hill Streetcar

Opened in January 2016, the First Hill Streetcar Line runs 2.5 miles between Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill with intermediate stops in Japantown, Chinatown, Little Saigon, Central District, and First Hill. 

Between Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill, there are 10 stops on the First Hill Line:

  • Occidental Mall / South Jackson Street (Pioneer Square)
  • 5th & Jackson (Japantown)
  • 7th & Jackson (Chinatown)
  • 12th & Jackson (Little Saigon)
  • 14th & Washington (Central District)
  • Yesler & Broadway (Yesler Terrace)
  • Broadway & Terrace (First Hill)
  • Broadway & Marion (First Hill)
  • Broadway & Pike-Pine (Capitol Hill)
  • Broadway & Denny (Capitol Hill)

The 2.5-mile electric streetcar journey between the Occidental Mall and Broadway & Denny takes about 25 minutes.

First Hill Line

At King Street Station, between the Occidental Mall and the 5th & Jackson stops, you can connect to Amtrak and Sound Transit’s Sounder lines. If you looking to head into the Seattle suburbs, you’ll also be able to hook up to the Link Light Rail at International District/Chinatown Station and Capitol Hill Station.

Much like on the other streetcar line, cyclists can also find several spots along the route to connect to the local bike network.

Future lines

Center City Connector

Originally pegged to open in 2020, the elusive Center City Connector project will connect the South Lake Union Line to the First Hill Line via a set of tracks along 1st Avenue and Stewart Avenue in Downtown Seattle. Along this route, visitors will be able to access many of the top tourist attractions in Seattle, including Pike Place Market, Seattle Art Museum, and Pioneer Square.

Once construction is completed, the Center City Connector is expected to increase the Seattle Streetcar’s ridership more than fivefold, bringing its daily passenger numbers to 20,000 to 24,000 per day.

Monorail

The Center City Connector will connect the streetcar to other King County Metro and regional transit services, including the Sounder Commuter Rail at King Street Station, ferries and water taxis at Colman Dock, and the Link Light Rail at several stations.

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The City of Seattle is currently estimating that the Center City Connector will be completed by 2025.

Broadway Streetcar

Although not as impactful as the Center City extension, the Broadway Streetcar project will extend the First Hill Line further north in Capitol Hill along Broadway. The half-mile extension is expected to include two stops at Broadway & Harrison and Broadway & Roy.

Broadway

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Unlike the other proposed streetcar project, the Broadway Extension is currently on an indefinite hiatus due to a lack of local support and rising capital costs.

Arrival times & schedule

South Lake Union Line

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday

  • 6 am to 9 pm

Saturday

  • 7 am to 9 pm

Sunday and Holidays*

  • 10 am to 7 pm

* New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. No service on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Frequency

Monday to Friday

  • 6 am to 7 am: Every 15 minutes
  • 7 am to 7 pm: Every 10 minutes
  • 7 pm to 9 pm: Every 15 minutes

Weekends and Holidays

  • Every 15 minutes

First Hill Line

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday

  • 5 am to 10:30 pm

Saturday

  • 6 am to 10:30 pm

Sunday and Holidays*

  • 10 am to 8 pm

* New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

Frequency

Monday to Friday

  • 5 am to 6 am: Every 18 to 25 minutes
  • 6 am to 9 am: Every 12 minutes
  • 9 am to 4 pm: Every 15 minutes
  • 4 pm to 7 pm: Every 12 minutes
  • 7 pm to 10:30 pm: Every 18 to 25 minutes

Saturday

  • 6 am to 10:30 pm: Every 15 minutes

Sundays and Holidays

  • Every 15 to 18 minutes

Fares

For a single-ride ticket, the Seattle Streetcar costs just $2.25 for adults (19 to 64), $1.50 for youth (6 to 18), and $1.00 for seniors (65+). Children under 5 can ride the streetcar for free.

Day passes are also available and allow passengers to take an unlimited number of rides in a 24-hour period. The cost of a day pass is $4.50 for adults, $3.00 for youth, and $2.00 for seniors.

NOTE: If you plan to ride the streetcars two or more times, you should purchase a day pass.

How to pay

You can pay for your fares using one of three methods:

  1. Paper Ticket: You can purchase paper tickets using credit cards or coins at the pay stations located at each streetcar station.
  2. ORCA Card: If you have an ORCA Card, simply tap your card on the reader located on each streetcar platform before boarding. You don’t need to tap your card while exiting. The only exception is at the Terry & Mercer stop going northbound on the South Lake Union Streetcar. You’ll need to tap your ORCA Card when leaving the car at either the Lake Union Park or Fairview & Campus stop.
  3. Transit GO: For another paperless option, load up the King County Metro’s Transit GO app and purchase a fare. The app also lets you buy tickets for other local transportation, including King County Metro Transit buses, Sound Transit trains, and the King County Water Taxi.

Accessibility

The Seattle Streetcar offers several accessibility upgrades to ensure safety and inclusivity for all its riders. The cars feature low floors and high platforms. There’s a minimal gap between the streetcar and the platform, making the cars easy to board.

For wheelchair-users, the doors feature wheelchair ramps that lower with the push of a button either inside or outside the car.

As long as there’s space in the car, cyclists are able to bring their bikes along. Bike racks are located in the center of the new streetcars on both lines.

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If the racks are full or you’re on an older tram, you can simply hold your bike upright on your ride to ensure you aren’t interfering with other passengers’ space.

Frequently asked questions

Who owns and operates the Seattle Streetcar?

The streetcar lines are owned Seattle Department of Transportation and the routes are operated by King County Metro.

How many riders does the Seattle Streetcar serve?

The average weekday ridership on the streetcar was about 3,100 riders. The two lines served approximately 806,000 passengers in 2021.

How much does a ride cost?

A single-ride ticket costs $2.25 for an adult.

How can I pay for my ride?

You can pay for your ride with a paper ticket, ORCA Card, or the Transit GO app.

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