Over 1,000,000 served: Sound Transit's commuter rail line carries one-millionth passenger

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Sound Transit's commuter rail line, Sounder, passed a major milestone this morning when it carried its one-millionth passenger in less than two years of operation. The service, which had about 5,200 riders its first week in Sept. 2000, now averages more than 11,000 riders per week.

"Sound Transit's commuter rail service is providing commuters an alternative to sitting in congestion," Joni Earl, Sound Transit Executive Director, said. "As we bring up more frequent service and extend it to the north and south, even more people will be able to take advantage of this alternative to gridlock."

Sounder currently operates two roundtrips every weekday between Tacoma and Seattle. Serving seven stations along the route, Sounder provides commuters a viable alternative to congestion in the I-5 corridor. Ultimately Sound Transit plans to operate nine round trips each day between Tacoma and Seattle, and six round trips per day between Everett and Seattle.

The Sound Transit Board and agency staff have set goals, announced by Board Chair Ron Sims earlier this year, of adding a third roundtrip between Seattle and Tacoma and securing an agreement in principle with the BNSF Railroad for service to Everett by the end of the year. The agency is also working to extend Sounder service south of Tacoma to Lakewood.

"We want to say thanks to our customers for making Sounder one of the most popular commute options in our region," Earl said.

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