Sound Transit riders set new records for taking trains and buses in 2015

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Sounder weekday commuter rail ridership up 15 percent over 2014

Sound Transit riders once again set all-time annual records in 2015 for boardings on commuter trains, buses and light rail in central Puget Sound. Sound Transit had an estimated 34.9 million total boardings last year, a 6 percent increase over 2014. Average weekday boardings were 116,839 in 2015.

"We continue to set new records for ridership by providing fast, reliable alternatives to driving," said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. "More people than ever in our region are choosing transit to get to their destination."

Sound Transit's ST Express regional bus system led the nation in number of "Commuter Bus" boardings for 2015. Under Federal Transit Administration reporting guidelines, Commuter Bus routes are those that primarily connect outlying areas with a central city through bus services that operate with at least five miles of continuous closed-door service.

ST Express buses connect employment and housing centers in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties and operate primarily on interstate highways with limited stops. 

The ridership numbers reported to the Sound Transit Board today mirror regional trends showing transit ridership has grown twice as fast as population over the past five years, according to the Puget Sound Regional Council.  Light rail has added about 1 million riders a year since 2010.

Here's the breakdown for average weekday boardings in 2015:

  • Sounder commuter rail: 14,600 – a 15 percent increase from 2014
  • Link light rail: 35,573 – an 8 percent increase from 2014
  • ST Express regional buses: 62,981 - a 3 percent increase from 2014

Sound Transit services saw impressive overall growth in addition to the average weekday boardings.

Here's a look at the 2015 annual boardings by the numbers:

  • Sounder commuter rail: 3.8 million boardings, 13 percent increase from 2014
  • Link light rail: 11.7 million boardings, 7 percent increase from 2014
  • ST Express regional buses: 18.3 million boardings, 4 percent increase from 2014

The full 2015 annual ridership report can be found here: