Oops! Seattle's new streetcars may be too big to fit tracks and maintenance barn

Hey, Democratic Socialists: Tell me why it is a good idea to let the government do more and more of the tasks our economy needs done.  Government bureaucrats have neither the incentives nor the mentality necessary to manage projects in a cost-effective manner.  The Seattle Times offers the latest example of this truth with the socialized transit system run by government bureaucrats.

The new streetcars that Seattle ordered to expand the downtown streetcar system are heavier and longer than the ones the city now operates, and it's unclear if they'll work on the current track and fit in the maintenance barn, Mayor Jenny Durkan's office said Tuesday.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) ordered 10 new streetcars in the fall, at a cost of $52 million, as it planned to link the two existing streetcar lines with a new line along First Avenue through downtown.

But Durkan halted that work in March and ordered an independent review of the project's finances, after a Seattle Times report said costs to operate the new system could be 50 percent higher than SDOT had publicly stated.


Existing Seattle streetcar that does fit the tracks (courtesy KOMO TV).

Government-run projects have a tendency toward becoming boondoggles because a bigger budget means a more important bureaucrat.  Nobody gets penalized, and nobody has bottom-line accountability.  This is why we consistently find this sort of escalation:

The projected cost to build the project already has risen to $200 million from what had initially been about $150 million.

And that's just what has been discovered so far:

The KPMG report, the mayor's office said, found a possible "additional capital shortfall" to build the new line.

Every true socialist regime impoverishes its people by squandering resources on projects with little return on investment, thereby denying resources to private consumption that consumers would purchase if the resources were not confiscated from them to pay for the wasteful, bloated projects.

When results don't measure up to what the socialist planners forecast, they just ask for more resources:

Ridership on the city's two existing streetcar lines has lagged expectations, but SDOT predicted that connecting the two lines with a First Avenue line would cause ridership to soar exponentially.

That is, the new project that is way over budget and may have streetcars that can't be used.  The solution inevitably will be more money needed.  That will be money confiscated from taxpayers, leaving them unable to buy things that they want.