Sound Transit boardings up 8 percent in first quarter

Riders catch a Sound Transit train. - COURTESY PHOTO, Sound Transit
Riders catch a Sound Transit train.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO, Sound Transit

Sound Transit boardings for trains, light rail and buses increased by more than 8 percent during the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.

Boardings increased on all modes except Tacoma Link and Paratransit for January through March. Overall, ridership growth is trending ahead of the annual budget forecasts, according to a Sound Transit media release.

One-day ridership records were set Feb. 5 on ST Express, Sounder, and Central Link as hundreds of thousands of Seahawks fans attended the Super Bowl victory parade in downtown Seattle. Apart from slide-related train cancellations on the Sounder North Line, there were no major service disruptions during the quarter.

ST Express buses had 6 percent more boardings in quarter one 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. Average weekday boardings reached 58,659, a 7 percent increase compared to 2013. No major service changes took place during the quarter.

Sounder commuter rail boardings were up by 7 percent with a 5 percent increase in average weekday boardings. Commuter boardings were up 11 percent on the North Line and 4 percent on the South Line, which serves Kent.

Tacoma Link light rail boardings continued a downward trend, declining 8 percent compared with quarter one 2013. Average weekday boardings were down 10 percent..

Central Link light rail showed the largest percentage increase of any mode, with total boardings up 15 percent and average weekday boardings up 13 percent.

Paratransit ridership (van service for people with special needs) continued to decline, dropping 8 percent overall, with a 10 percent decline in daily boardings. Paratransit represents less than 0.2 percent of total Sound Transit boardings.

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