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Sound Transit ridership rose 9 percent in second quarter

Sound Transit set a ridership record for the second quarter, posting a 9 percent gain to more than 8 million boardings compared with the same period in 2013, agency officials announced yesterday.

Link light-rail service has generated double-digit annual ridership growth since it opened in July 2009. In the second quarter, Link's average weekday ridership soared 17 percent to more than 33,000, agency officials said in a press release.

Sound Transit also posted significant ridership growth on the Sounder north commuter-rail line between Everett, Wash., and Seattle. In the quarter, the agency logged more than 73,000 weekday boardings, an 11 percent year-over-year increase.

Also during the second quarter, total Sounder commuter-rail boardings rose 7 percent, including commuter and special event trains. Central Link light-rail had the highest growth of any Sound Transit mode, skyrocketing 16 percent.

On the down side, Tacoma Link light-rail boardings decreased 3 percent, although the rate of decline has slowed compared with recent quarters, agency officials said.

In the coming months, Sound Transit's board will continue its long-range planning for a projected 30 percent increase in the region's population by 2040. Updating the plan will set the stage for considering where light rail and other regional transit services should expand after voter-approved projects are completed, agency officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/29/2014