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2016 - The Year of Link by Matthew Johnson February 17, 2017

Today Sound Transit released 2016 fourth quarter and year-end ridership numbers and as expected, opening three new stations last year helped shatter previous light rail ridership records with over 19 million people riding the trains. In case you missed it, Sound Transit opened new stations at the University of Washington and Capitol Hill in March and south of the airport at Angle Lake in September.

Overall, Link saw an 89 percent weekday ridership growth in Q4, from 34,963 to 66,203 average weekday riders. A large portion was due to the new stations:

  • University of Washington Station: 9,300 daily boardings
  • Capitol Hill Station: 6,800 daily boardings
  • Angle Lake Station: 2,800 daily boardings

But existing stations also saw significant growth – likely as a result of the new extensions with Capitol Hill and UW being major destinations from the existing stations and riders from those new stations also heading downtown to work. Here’s the percentage growth year over year by station:

  • Westlake: 10,200 - 37.8%
  • University Street: 5,100 - 88.9%
  • Pioneer Square: 3,900 - 85.7%
  • International District Chinatown: 5,300 - 65.6%
  • Stadium: 1,100 - 37.5%
  • SODO: 2,000 - 53.8%
  • Beacon Hill: 2,700 - 35%
  • Mount Baker: 2,300 - 15%
  • Columbia City: 2,400 - 33.3%
  • Othello: 2,400 - 26.3%
  • Rainier Beach: 1,900 - 26.7%
  • Tukwila/International Blvd: 2,700 - No change
  • SeaTac/Airport: 5,200 - -10.3%

Over the entire year of 2016 Link ridership grew 65.8% over 2015. After the opening of U-Link in March, Link weekday ridership grew an average of 78.8% over the same period in 2015.

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Publish Date: 
Friday, Feb 17, 2017 - 11:15 am