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Like: In Seattle, Amazon plans to buy a streetcar and fund shorter headways

The Seattle Transit Blog reports that Amazon.com, which is building a shiny new headquarters complex in Downtown Seattle, plans to buy that city a new streetcar vehicle for service on an existing line and provide funding for shorter headway service.

The overall proposal includes $5.5 million of support for the Seattle Streetcar. This funding will allow the City to purchase an additional streetcar vehicle and increase operational support for 10 years as a part of the Planned Community Development benefit package. In total, these benefits will increase street car service to every ten minutes during the workday.

They will also be building other pedestrian and cycling enhancements in the area. Apparently all this is in exchange for the taking of a number of public alleys the company needs to construct it’s headquarters.

Imagine if we called on developers to give concessions to receive zoning variances and street abandonments.


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One Response to Like: In Seattle, Amazon plans to buy a streetcar and fund shorter headways

  1. Jason September 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    This is perhaps a better model for institutional participation than the proposed assessment zone, although I still think the assessment zone is fair.

    In some sense, taxable land owners can be fairly taxed on property value because their equity position does provide direct, tangible benefit at some point whereas institutions don’t really gain a whole lot by having their existing property increase in value.

    Whereas institutions might balk at building infrastructure that is not dependent on marginal increased in use, vehicles are capital expenses that are related to use. These sort of tangible and depreciating assets may be the kind of thing a university or hospital could get behind supporting.

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