History of Seattle Municipal Railway's Division C, the streetcar line that once connected Burien with White Center and Seattle.
July 17, 2005
1926 Report on Street Railway Operation

By Superintendant Jackson of SPU.

Route No. 4, Lake Burien

Start at 5th Avenue W. and West Mercer Street on West Mercer Street to Queen Anne Avenue to Harrison Street to 1st Avenue N. To 1st Avenue to Washington Street to Railroad Avenue East Marginal Way West Spokane Street to Iowa Avenue to Detroit Avenue to 9th Avenue SW to West Henderson Street to 16th Ave SW to Argyle Ave to 12th ave SW to Lake Burien Return same route. One Way distance 14.14 miles.

Schedule speed, 10.65 mph
Passengers per car mile 3.06 (low, many around 7)
Maximum cars per hour 3.53 (extremely low, most around 8, some 10 or 12., Phinney 24)

Cars AM 13
Cars noon 10
Cars PM 14
Hours weekday, 186:47
Hours Saturday 172:09
Hours Sunday 99:32

AM 17
Noon 16-17
PM 17

Trip time
AM 90
Noon 85
PM 78-91

Type of car, 30 and 600 class dt wood, one man

Route change will reduce car miles from 683252 by 78600 and car hours by 7180

Line consumed 2.39 Kilowatt hours per car mile, moderate

"there are three car barns, Jefferson, North Seattle and Fremont, which, of course, take care of certain amount of minor repair work"

pp 12-13

Lake Burien Line

The Lake Burien Line, the result of a real estate promotion and a gift to the city before the acquisition of the Stone & Webster lines should be analyzed. Starting at Spokane Street, it winds its way over fills and under slides, through a sparsely settled territory to the city limits at White Center. From White Center it follows a newly paved highway for a distance of 5 miles to Burien City. While the whole line is an unprofitable operation it is the portion outside of the city limits to which I wish to call attention. The territory adjacent to this line did not develop as anticipated and shows no signs of rapid development in the future. The paved highway has made access to the territory easier for automobiles to the detriment of the railway revenue. A headway of 16 minutes is maintained during the day and 10 minutes during the peak hours and 30 minutes after 8 p.m. After leaving the city limits a second cash or token fare is collected as is also a double fare inbound. Checks taken recently on normal days show 401 passengers outbound after leaving the city limits and 360 passengers inbound before reaching the city limits. These fares would produce a revenue of $21,500 per annum, estimating 50% on Sundays and holidays. Practically all of these passengers, however, pay another fare both inbound and outbound, which would be lost if this line did not operate beyond the city limits, for a private line would bring the passengers to the center of the city. Therefore, the above amount of revenue produced outside the city limits should be doubled totaling $43,000.

The added cost of operation of this line beyond the city limits, as operated at present, is $52,578.00 per annum, or a. loss of $9,578.00. Obviously this line should be abandoned or the service reduced, as there is no obligation on the part of the city to maintain any particular service, in fact, to maintain any service whatever.
I find that by operating a shuttle car between White Center and Lake Burien on a 40 minute schedule, and turning all cars back at White Center, giving practically the same service now enjoyed inside the city limits, and the adoption of the recommendation immediately following there will be a saving of 60.5 car hours per day, which would indicate a saving of $41,000 per annum. There would be some small expense involved in the change of location of sidings. This new schedule would also release some one-man cars for operation on other lines indicating some additional saving.

I would recommend this change.

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at July 17, 2005 5:18 PM
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