Seattle Streetcar: Supporting the community and public relations effort

Helping build the campaign for the Seattle Streetcar


The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) faced an uphill climb in convincing the public and local business owners in the South Lake Union and Denny Triangle areas that a streetcar was a viable solution to connecting these growing neighborhoods to downtown Seattle. There was little support from members of the community and in City Council. SDOT needed help in explaining the benefits and long-term vision.


Build a coalition of support from businesses who would be directly impacted by and who would benefit from the Seattle Streetcar – and convince City Council that it’s a worthy addition to the city’s transportation needs. With intense outreach and lobbying, The Fearey Group helped to create Build the Streetcar, a non-profit organization that focused on meeting the neighborhood’s transit needs and in highlighting the economic development that would result. The conversations with businesses and City Council paid off: the Streetcar was built.


Through intense campaigning, the streetcar project advanced from little to near-unanimous City Council support. Media and community relations resulted in changing public opinion of the project from that of an amenity to a transit solution for three growing communities. The South Lake Union line opened to the public with great fanfare.


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