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Sound Transit celebrates third anniversary of Link light-rail system

Earlier this week, Sound Transit marked the third anniversary of the Link light-rail system, which has transported 21.6 million riders since it opened on July 18, 2009.

The service registered a 10 percent gain in ridership during second-quarter 2012 compared with the same period last year. Link transported 2.19 million riders in the second quarter compared with 1.98 million a year ago.

“The strong ridership growth we’re seeing quarter over quarter three years after opening day shows Link continues to mature and grow as the regional economy rebounds,” said Sound Transit Chairman Pat McCarthy in a prepared statement. “And the return on investments in light rail will only grow as the system expands.”

The system’s Central Link line is the first segment of what will eventually be more than 50 miles of light rail serving the central Puget Sound region. University Link, a 3.1-mile underground extension from downtown Seattle north to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington, is under construction. The line is slated to open in 2016.

In August, Sound Transit is scheduled to break ground on a 4.3-mile extension from the university to Northgate in Seattle. That extension is slated to open in 2023.

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More News from 7/20/2012