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Seattle to cancel deal to buy new streetcars

September 10, 2019

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle will cancel its $52 million contract to buy 10 new streetcars for the planned Center City Connector line.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) announced the cancellation Monday, saying it would cost more to stay in the 2017 deal than to start over on a new contract. Department officials say they’re still committed to finishing the project.

The Seattle Times reports the new streetcar, which would run along First Avenue and connect existing lines in First Hill and South Lake Union, was once set to open in 2018 but is now expected in 2026.

Mayor Jenny Durkan paused the project last year after the newspaper reported that costs to operate the new streetcar system could be higher than the city had previously said. Durkan later decided to go ahead with the project, but hasn’t said how she plans to fill a shortfall of about $56 million.

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