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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Sound Transit recognizes service anniversaries


Sound Transit plans to observe the first anniversary of its Sounder commuter rail service Sept. 18 and the second anniversary of ST Express bus service Sept. 19 — but without the celebratory events that typically mark such milestones.

"Given the tragic events of this past week, we thought any overt celebration would be inappropriate," said Sound Transit Executive Director Joni Earl in a prepared statement. "While we are extremely proud of our services — and would like to thank our riders for their patronage — we think it is a time for quiet reflection rather than celebration."

During Sounder’s first year of operation, its weekly ridership has more than doubled, rising from a little more than 5,000 riders to more than 12,000.

ST Express, too, has logged increasing ridership. In 2001’s first half, total ridership jumped more than 42 percent compared with the same period in 2000 from 1.9 million to 2.8 million.

Earl assured there would be ample opportunity later this year to celebrate Sound Transit’s accomplishments, including rider appreciation festivities, reopening of Union Station’s Grand Hall (following earthquake repairs), Bellevue Transit Center’s renovation groundbreaking, Everett’s Pacific Avenue Overpass ribbon cutting, Tacoma Link light rail construction and open houses for various capital projects throughout the region.