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Celebrate 18 years of ST Express bus service!

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Today we thank all of our ST Express bus riders for 18 happy years of service!

It was on this day in 1999 that the now-ubiquitous blue and white buses first rolled out in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties as the very first Sound Transit service. Since then, ST Express has grown to be the busiest bus system of its kind in the nation.

We started with 17 routes running primarily on interstates connecting the biggest housing and job centers in the region. During their first full year of service in 2000, ST Express carried about 4.1 million riders.

Since then the system has grown to 28 routes that last year carried about 18.4 million riders. 

Fun fact - Sound Transit contracts with Pierce Transit, King County Metro Transit and Community Transit to operate and maintain our ST Express fleet

So while our Link light rail and Sounder commuter trains often get the limelight (just ask our bus service planners), let’s not forget the hard-working ST Express routes that are out there fighting traffic every day to get about 66,000 riders a day where they need to go. 

That’s more riders than any comparable system in the country! Here’s how.

The Federal Transit Administration recently created a new category of bus service for tracking and reporting purposes called “Commuter Bus” service.

The new designation tracks bus routes which primarily connect outlying areas with a central city that operates with at least five miles of continuous closed-door service – exactly what ST Express does. And in 2015 (the last year reported) we led the nation in boardings under the new category. 

So here’s a big THANK YOU to all of our ST Express riders over the years.

And be sure to tell your driver HAPPY BIRTHDAY when you climb on board!

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