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Sound Transit records 12.3 percent increase in '07 train/bus ridership

Nearly 14 million riders boarded Sounder commuter rail, ST Express buses and Tacoma Link light-rail trains last year, an increase of 12.3 percent compared with 2006's total and nearly six times the U.S. average, Sound Transit announced today.

Leading the way was Sounder commuter rail, which recorded a 27.4 percent ridership hike — the fourth-biggest 2007 commuter rail ridership boost in the United States, the Seattle agency said, citing a recent American Public Transportation Association report.

Sound Transit attributed ridership growth to new rail-service routes, such as one new round trip on the north corridor serving Everett, Edmonds and Seattle and two on the south corridor serving Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn, Kent, Tukwila and Seattle. South corridor service increases included the first "reverse commute" train that runs from Seattle to Tacoma in the morning and returns northbound in the evening.

"Each year, more and more people discover that taking transit is better than dealing with rising congestion and high gas prices," said Sound Transit Chairman and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels in a prepared statement. "We will continue focusing on keeping those ridership numbers climbing by working to expand transit service."

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More News from 3/11/2008