Sound Transit's Tacoma Link off to flying start; ridership exceeds 2010 projections

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Sound Transit's brand new Tacoma Link light rail service is proving to be far more popular than anyone had predicted.
"We originally projected an average of 2,000 riders per weekday day by the year 2010," said Sound Transit Board Chair/King County Executive Ron Sims. "We've already exceed 2,000 riders on eight of the first 13 weekdays, including Monday through Wednesday of this week!"


"This clearly shows that people are ready to park their cars and take advantage of convenient and reliable transit options," he added.


Between the first day of service on August 22 - when 4,400 people jumped on board -- and Wednesday September 10, Tacoma Link has carried more than 39,000 riders between Tacoma Dome Station and the historic Theater District. Besides opening day, the highest weekday ridership was 3,230 on Thursday August 28.


"We are already seeing the benefits of this new Tacoma Link service," said Sound Transit Vice-Chair/Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. "Merchants along the line, many of whom struggled during construction over the past two years, have seen traffic and business improve. This is great news and a precursor of things to come as more and more of the Sound Transit network comes on-line."


"This is just the beginning," said Sound Transit Boardmember/Tacoma City Councilman Kevin Phelps. "With the opening of the new Tacoma Dome Sounder station later this month and the future expansion of Sounder service the Sound Transit vision of connecting people throughout the region comes closer to reality."


"As Downtown Tacoma's renaissance continues, we expect Tacoma Link's ridership to grow accordingly," he added.


Tacoma Link runs seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. Trains run every 10 minutes each direction except early and late on Sundays and holidays, when the frequency is 20 minutes.


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