Sound Transit continued to see significant growth in rail ridership in 2018, as Link light rail ridership increased 6.1 percent over 2017 and Sounder train ridership increased 4.5 percent.
“Our steady ridership growth further confirms the urgency of the light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid transit expansions our region’s voters approved,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff in a news release Feb. 21. “These gains benefit all commuters and will keep coming as more people seize the opportunity to escape congestion and as light rail reaches Northgate in 2021, the Eastside in 2023 and Lynnwood and Federal Way in 2024.”
The Sounder runs between Lakewood and Everett and includes stops in Kent, where many commuters catch the train for jobs in Seattle. Sound Transit will extend light rail from SeaTac through Kent to Federal Way in 2o24.
According to the most recent data available from the American Public Transportation Association, transit ridership nationally declined 1.75 percent in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same quarter 2017, with light rail ridership dropping more than 3.5 percent.
Overall, Sound Transit ridership for 2018 grew 2.9 percent to more than 48 million riders. ST Express service decreased slightly, while Tacoma Link ridership was negatively affected by the closure of the Tacoma Dome for renovations last summer.
The ridership report can be found at soundtransit.org/ridership.