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Transit ridership surges during Womxn's March, sets Saturday record for Link light rail

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King County and Sound Transit's integrated transit systems logged more than 330,000 boardings on buses and light rail during the historic Womxn's March on Seattle and set a record for Saturday ridership on Link light rail.

Together, King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit saw an estimated 50 percent more riders during the Jan. 21 event than usual for an average Saturday on buses and Link light rail.

Metro estimates more than 250,000 bus boardings on the day of the march, roughly 70,000 more than usual Saturday ridership during the fall of 2016. Metro's estimate is based on data from ORCA card usage, fares collected, and passenger-counting sensors installed on buses.

Sound Transit estimates 80,000 boardings on Link light rail, its highest Saturday ridership to date for Link. A typical Saturday in December 2016 averaged 39,000 light rail riders.

More than 100,000 were estimated to have joined Saturday's march, which at one point stretched four miles from Judkins Park through downtown to Seattle Center. Metro drivers and supervisors reported dozens of crowded buses starting around 8 a.m., with large crowds at stops in several areas, including Northgate, the University District, and the Eastside. Riders using Link after the march experienced standing-room only crowds on trains and station platforms.

Metro provided additional service on several key routes, including the 4, 5, 7, 8, 14, 36, 45, 48, 62, 101, 106, 120, 255, RapidRide C and E Lines and Sound Transit's 550 and 554. Metro also operated shuttles between the International District and Judkins Park, and Seattle Center and downtown.

Metro activated its Transit Division Operations Center (DOC) to coordinate service during the march due to large crowds and service impacts. The DOC comprises staff from all Metro sections and is typically activated during emergencies and adverse weather. More than 50 bus routes were rerouted due to crowds and road closures during the march.