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Sketched Feb 2, 2016

After years of anticipation, the 2.5-mile streetcar line connecting Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square is finally up and running. Have you taken a ride on any of the colorful cars yet?

On Tuesday afternoon, I boarded one decorated with a swirling Chinese dragon for the upcoming Lunar New Year. It was so crowded I couldn’t even get a seat. Some passengers told me they were running errands or commuting from work. Others confessed to riding out of curiosity during the free promotional period, which continues through Feb. 15 (President’s Day.)

This is such a busy corridor for students who attend Seattle Central College and Seattle University and people coming to “Pill Hill” for hospital visits, that I bet the cars will fill fast. They run from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays and holidays.

One big drawback is that the trains have to share lanes with regular traffic, which slows down the trips. But I take that incovenience as an extra opportunity to relax, put my phone down and look at the cityscape. The architecture is especially eye-catching when you reach the end of the line at Pioneer Square.