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Rail News: Passenger Rail
Sound Transit light-rail ridership soared in third quarter
Sound Transit logged 5,596,453 boardings on its Link light-rail system in the third quarter, marking a 13.5 percent increase over the same period last year.
Average weekday ridership grew 13 percent to 76,822 boardings. Year to date, Sound Transit logged 17.5 million total light-rail rides, or a 26 percent increase over the same period in 2016.
Meanwhile, third-quarter ridership on Sound Transit's Tacoma Link streetcar line inched up 3 percent. Ridership on the Sounder commuter-rail network grew 2.7 percent to 1,123,055 boardings.
In addition, average weekday boardings on Sounder trains grew 5.7 percent. Although ridership on the Sounder South line grew 6.4 percent, North line ridership fell 0.2 percent.
South Line ridership growth followed the introduction of new Sounder mid-day trains, which was implemented as part of a September 2016 service change, Sound Transit officials said in the agency's third-quarter ridership report.
"The more than 26 percent ridership growth we've seen on our light rail trains so far in 2017 over last year shows the region's tremendous demand for congestion-free transit," said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff in a press release. "These gains reinforce the importance of staying on schedule in delivering more than 90 additional miles of voter-approved light rail."
The agency expects to open light-rail extensions over the next few years, including a line to Seattle's Northgate neighborhood in 2021.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.