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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Sound Transit, Tri-Rail continue to increase passenger counts

Add Sound Transit to the list of transit agencies that posted ridership gains in the first quarter. Late last week, the agency announced quarterly ridership on its Sounder commuter-rail system jumped 28 percent compared with first-quarter 2007.

The biggest gain occurred in March, when Sounder registered a 29 percent year-over-year increase. The agency continues to build ridership after posting a 27 percent ridership increase on the Sounder system in 2007.

New passengers cited environmental benefits, cost savings and convenience as the top reasons they now ride Sounder trains, according to a recent rider survey.

In June, Sounder trains will begin serving the new Mukilteo Station. And in September, the agency will add one peak-period round-trip train and one reverse-commute round-trip train between Tacoma and Seattle, as well as one additional round-trip train between Everett and Seattle.

Meanwhile, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) posted its second-highest ridership day on May 8, when the Tri-Rail commuter-rail system carried 15,871 passengers. The No. 1 total remains 18,452 on June 23, 2006, the day of the Miami Heat NBA Championship celebration parade.

SFRTA’s ridership has steadily grown since March 2006, when the agency completed the Double Track Corridor Improvement Program. High gas prices also have contributed to the passenger gains, according to the agency.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/12/2008