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Every time I read about Seattle’s growing streetcar system [“First Avenue streetcar work to get under way in January,” NWFriday, Dec. 30] I am puzzled and wonder “Why streetcars?” How are streetcars a better choice than buses.

Streetcars are very expensive, disruptive and time-consuming to put into service. The project will cost an estimated $135 million, disrupt Seattle’s core for four years, and remove 194 parking spots.

The City Council selected the route two years ago, and service won’t even start until 2020.

A new bus route can go into service in a matter of weeks. When there is some problem on the route, or if more capacity is needed, changes are quick and easy. How long would it take to reroute a streetcar if a sink hole developed under the track?

So again I ask the question, “Why streetcars?” The cynical me answers that the primary advantage is that most of the $135 million will be paid to local contractors and businesses.

Damon Darley, Seattle