Sound Transit Link light rail ridership up 6.9 percent in third quarter

More than 6.6 million riders in the quarter

More than 6.6 million riders rode Sound Transit’s Link light rail trains during the third quarter of this year, an increase of 6.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

On an average weekday, more than 81,000 people ride Link, up from 74,900 last year, according to a Sound Transit news release. Overall, more than 12.6 million riders took advantage of Sound Transit trains and buses, a 2.8 percent system-wide increase from third quarter last year.

“More riders are discovering how Sound Transit trains and buses can make their commutes easier,” said Dave Somers, Sound Transit Board chair and Snohomish County executive. “Those numbers will only increase as the light rail system expands to Lynnwood, Bellevue and Federal Way and more people are able to avoid traffic congestion.”

Sound Transit’s growth in ridership is in sharp relief with other regions in the country. According to the most recent data available from the American Public Transportation Association, transit ridership nationally declined nearly 2 percent in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter 2017.

Puget Sound voters in 2016 approved a $54 billion measure to expand the existing system with 62 miles of light rail with stations serving 37 additional areas, including extension of light rail from SeaTac through Kent to Federal Way. That line is scheduled to open in 2024.

Average light rail weekday boardings jumped 13.6 at SeaTac’s Angle Lake station for the third quarter this year (4,335) compared to 2017 (3,816), the second highest increase in the system. The Stadium stop had the biggest jump at 29 percent. The most weekday boardings in the quarter were at Westlake (13,069) and University of Washington (10,163).

The third quarter ridership report is available on the Sound Transit website at soundtransit.org.

More in News

Jim Pitts stands on walkway overlooking filtration chambers at the King County South Treatment Plant in Renton. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Human waste: Unlikely climate change hero?

King County treatment plant joins effort to counteract effects of carbon dioxide.

Washington State Capitol Building. Photo by Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Legislation targets rape kit backlog

WA has about 10,000 untested kits; new law would reduce testing time to 45 days

File photo
Law enforcement oversight office seeks subpoena power

Organization has been unable to investigate King County Sheriff’s Office.

The 2015 Wolverine Fire in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Lake Chelan. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Natural Resources/Kari Greer
Western Washington faces elevated wildfire risk in 2019

Humans cause majority of fires in state

Courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County approves bargaining agreement with 60 unions

Employees will receive wage increases and $500 bonus.

Call for peace, unity, understanding

City, county and state leaders show support of Islam community in wake of massacre at New Zealand mosques

King County bail reform hinges on pretrial decision making

Data on inmates has shown that being held pretrial affects the likelihood of conviction.

State smoking age rising to 21 in 2020

Legislature approves change

A man addresses the King County Council during a public hearing March 20 at New Life Church in Renton. He presented bags filled with what he said was hazardous materials dropped on his property by bald eagles. Another speaker made similar claims. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Locals show support for King County waste to energy plant

Public hearing on landfill’s future was held March 20 in Renton.

Defense Distributed’s 3D printed gun, The Liberator. Photo by Vvzvlad/Wikimedia Commons
‘Ghost gun’ bill moves to Senate committees

Legislation would make 3-D printed guns illegal.

King County Council with Sarah Reyneveld, chair of the King County Women’s Advisory Board. Photo courtesy of King County
King County proclaims March as Women’s History Month

This year’s theme is Womxn Who Lead: Stories from the past and how they influence the future.

A man addresses the King County Council during a public hearing March 20 at New Life Church in Renton. He presented bags filled with what he said was hazardous materials dropped on his property by bald eagles. Another speaker made similar claims. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Locals show support for King County waste to energy plant

Public hearing on landfill’s future was held March 20 in Renton.