Sound Transit ridership shows steady growth in 2002; Sounder and STExpress top seven million boardings

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Sound Transit's Sounder commuter rail service and STExpress regional bus system combined for more than seven million passenger boardings in 2002.

"This is great news for our region," said Sound Transit Board Chair/King County Executive Ron Sims. "While ridership numbers for other transit agencies are flat in a sluggish economy, more and more people are choosing Sound Transit's alternatives to gridlock."

Sound Transit's 2002 Ridership Report shows 1.7 million passenger boardings on STExpress for the fourth quarter, a 12 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2001. Annual STExpress ridership for 2002 totaled 6,388,162, up 10.5 percent from the previous year.

Sound Transit's popular Sounder commuter rail service, which added a third round-trip between Seattle and Tacoma in September 2002, also showed impressive gains. With the addition of the third train, ridership jumped almost 23 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the same time period in 2001 (192,499 / 157,056). For the year, Sounder carried 672, 495 riders, a 16 percent jump over 2001.

"Along with the recent good news from our federal partners about Link light rail -- our inclusion in President Bush's proposed 2004 budget and highest possible "New Starts" rating -- this steady increase in ridership shows the progress we are making in building a regional transit system," said Sims. "Sound Transit is clearly on a roll!"

EDITORS NOTE: Click this link for a copy of Sound Transit's Fourth Quarter Ridership Report:

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