The Seattle City Council approved an agreement Monday to build and operate Sound Transit's new First Hill streetcar by the mid-2010s.

Share story

The Seattle City Council approved an agreement Monday to build and operate Sound Transit’s new First Hill streetcar by the mid-2010s.

The deal calls for Sound Transit to pay the city $120 million for construction, land and trains, and up to $5.2 million a year (in 2007 dollars) for operations. Trains are required to run at least every 10 minutes in peak times.

Voters in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties approved the line — from the Chinatown International District across First Hill to the future Capitol Hill light-rail station that is to open in 2016 — as part of last year’s Proposition 1. Seattle hopes to launch streetcar service sooner.

A specific route wasn’t picked, and debate continues about whether to put tracks mainly on Broadway or go partly along 12th Avenue, to boost redevelopment southeast of Seattle University.

Times staff and news services