• Service begins for Seattle's new First Hill Streetcar

    By: Graham Johnson

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - After an 18-month delay, Seattle's First Hill Streetcar opened Saturday.

    City officials had planned what they call a "soft opening" at 11 a.m., which will be followed by a period of free rides.

    A community celebration will follow at a later date.

    "I'm excited. We've been waiting for it a long time," said Beth Anderson, who works in the International District and expects to take the streetcar regularly.

    The six cars on the line will run between Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill's new light rail station.

    The line will pass through the International District, Yesler Terrace and First Hill.

    Opening of the line was delayed by production problems in the Czech Republic.

    "We're now at a point where it's ready to launch, and it will operate reliably," Seattle Transportation Director Scott Kubly told a city council committee on Friday.

    Details of how long free rides will last were expected to be announced Saturday.

    See video from the first day of service on KIRO 7's newscasts starting at 5 p.m.

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