Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sound Transit's Link light rail hits three-year mark

Sound Transit's Link light rail hits three-year mark Sound Transit

Seattle's Sound Transit Link light rail turns three years old, amid continued steady ridership growth since opening day. Link has carried an estimated 21.6 million riders since it opened July 18, 2009.

The latest second quarter ridership numbers for 2012 show Link up 10 percent over the second quarter in 2011. Link carried an estimated 2.19 million riders in the second quarter of 2012 compared to 1.98 million in 2011.

"The strong ridership growth we're seeing quarter over quarter three years after opening day shows Link continues to mature and grow as the regional economy rebounds," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. "Every day more people are taking Link to get them where they need to go. And the return on investments in light rail will only grow as the system expands."

Link currently carries about 28,000 riders each weekday.

The Central Link line is the first portion of what will be more than 50 miles of light-rail serving the Central Puget Sound Region. University Link, a 3.1-mile underground extension from downtown Seattle north to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington is under construction and will open in 2016 along with an extension south of SeaTac/Airport Station to S. 200th Street.

In August, Sound Transit will break ground on a 4.3-mile extension from the University of Washington to Northgate in Seattle scheduled to open in 2021.

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