Sounder commuter rail celebrates ten-year anniversary

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14.7 million boardings add up to a decade of safe, efficient peak-time travel

Sound Transit on Tuesday will celebrate the tenth anniversary of its Sounder commuter rail service, which has grown in ridership from 102,552 in its first year of operation to an estimated 2.8 million by the end of this year.

"Our Sounder train provides safe, reliable service for nearly 9,400 commuters every weekday," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. "Whether traveling from Pierce or Snohomish counties, Sounder riders enjoy a pleasant, eco-friendly commute that saves gas and parking costs while taking thousands of cars off the road every day."

Sounder service began September 18, 2000 between Tacoma and Seattle, with stops in Puyallup, Sumner, Auburn, Kent and Tukwila. North corridor Sounder service between Everett and Seattle followed on December 21, 2003 with service to Edmonds, and later, added service to Mukilteo.

During the past decade, Sound Transit has incrementally increased service on both corridors, today offering nine daily round trips in the south corridor that include two "reverse trips" (southbound in the morning and northbound at night). Four round trips operate in the north corridor. Sound Transit also began providing special game day trains to Mariners games in 2000, Seahawks games in 2002, and Sounder FC games in 2009 to mitigate traffic congestion and open Sounder service to other residents in the region.

The following trend chart shows Sounder ridership growth during the last decade.


Other key facts about Sounder:

- Total boardings for the last ten years: 14,707,384
- 2010 average weekday boardings: 9,384
- Growth in average weekday boardings from July 2009 - July 2010: 1.7%
- Average annual growth since service began: 21.2%
- On-time performance year-to-date: 97.8%

To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Sound Transit is partnering with Transportation Choices Coalition in Tacoma and Costco Wholesale to thank riders and distribute commemorative stickers at each of its Sounder stations.

"The reliability and consistency of Sounder really takes the guesswork out of commuting," said Rob Johnson, Executive Director of Transportation Choices Coalition. "It is great service like Sounder that makes it easier for all of us to give our car the day off, put money back in our pockets, protect the environment, and give us more free time."

More information on Sounder, including weekday and game day schedules, fares, a service map, and station locations is available at Riding-Sound-Transit/Schedules-and-Facilities/Sounder-Commuter-Rail.xml.