National commuter rail conference gets underway in Seattle April 1- 4

Publish Date

The eyes of the commuter rail industry will be focused on Seattle next week, as national and international commuter rail experts gather for the Commuter Rail Conference sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

As the nation's newest passenger rail service, Sound Transit's Sounder commuter rail department is serving as convention hosts for the four-day event at the Westin Hotel. In just six months of service, Sounder's ridership per train already ranks as the second highest non-New York commuter rail line in the entire nation, personifying the convention's theme of "Commuter rail for tomorrow, now boarding on Track 2001." Delegates from around the world representing commuter rail organizations, companies and government agencies will be discussing a wide variety of issues including the latest in rail technology, industry trends and operations.

While the seminars and conference are for registered guests only, the media is welcome and encouraged to attend but please check in first with APTA media staff at the Westin Hotel's Baker Room. A full program listing can be found on the APTA Web site at
With service to all seven Sounder stations between Tacoma and Seattle now underway, Sounder has continued to surpass opening day ridership projections with more than 9,000 passenger boardings a week, averaging more than 1,800 daily riders on just two round trips, far exceeding the original projection of 1,500 riders per day on three round trips. Ridership numbers are for regular weekday service only and do not include the Mariners trains or other special service. By 2003, Sounder service is planned to extend north to Everett, Edmonds and Mukilteo and south of Tacoma to Lakewood.
Sounder's customer information line is 1-888-889-6368; for TTY hearing impaired users please call 1-888-713-6030 and the Sounder Web site is www.sounder.or . For general Sound Transit information please visit the Sound Transit Web site at, or call or write for more information at Sound Transit, Union Station, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104, 206-398-5000 or toll free 1-800-201-4900.


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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.