Sound Transit Board approves 2017 service changes

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More commuter rail, bus trips combined with growing light rail system will serve 47 million annual boardings

The Sound Transit Board of Directors today approved service improvements in 2017 that include two additional peak Sounder south line round trip trains and 15,000 additional annual platform hours for ST Express bus service to meet growing demand and deliver voter-approved projects.

As part of the 2008 voter-approved Sound Transit 2 package of transportation investments, Sound Transit will add two new peak hour Sounder commuter rail trips between Lakewood and Seattle in September, 2017. The final schedule for these new round trips will be developed next year.

In response to increasingly crowded conditions on ST Express service, Sound Transit will also add 15,000 annual platform hours for ST Express regional bus service beginning in September. Sound Transit will conduct a detailed analysis in early 2017 to identify the most crowded bus routes for additional investments. These increased hours will supplement 43,000 annual platform hours added in 2016.

In addition to the added service hours, Sound Transit will also roll out 32 new double decker buses on Snohomish County routes and will add longer buses to its busiest routes in King and Pierce counties.

Voters approved four new Sounder south line round trips in the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure. The first round-trip train began service in fall 2013. The second of the four round trips was implemented as a midday train this September. The last two trains will provide peak hour round trips in September 2017.

The additional commuter rail and bus service supplements expansions of Link light rail service that began serving the University of Washington at Husky Stadium and Capitol Hill in March, and Angle Lake south of Sea-Tac Airport in September. Third quarter ridership this year increased 27 percent compared to the same period last year.

More information on 2017 service improvements can be found at soundtransit.org/sip.