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Sound Transit sets annual ridership records, solicits input on Tacoma Link expansion

Sound Transit set annual ridership records in 2012 for boardings on commuter- and light-rail trains and buses.

The agency's boardings totaled 28 million, up 12 percent year over year, with average weekday boardings topping 93,000, Sound Transit officials announced on Friday.

"With so many more people using our services it will be vital for Sound Transit to maintain the high standards our riders have come to expect," said Chairman Pat McCarthy in a prepared statement.

Boardings on Central Link light-rail rose 11 percent to 8.7 million while boardings on Sounder Commuter Rail climbed 10.5 percent to 2.8 million. In addition, the Tacoma Link light-rail line topped 1 million boardings for the first time since it opened in 2003, agency officials said, adding that boardings for all services surpassed projections for the year.

Meanwhile, Sound Transit officials will host open houses on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of an alternatives analysis. The agency is seeking public input on corridor alternatives for expanding the 1.6-mile Tacoma Link system that operates between the Tacoma Dome and Theater District stations.

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