July 18, 2013 at 6:45 PM
Ridership still growing as Link light rail turns 4 years old
Thursday marked the fourth anniversary of Link light-rail’s grand opening, and ridership continues to grow, to an average 31,953 weekday boardings in June — a 14 percent gain over a year earlier.
The $2.6 billion, 16-mile route from Westlake Center to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport set a record Tuesday, June 11, by carrying 38,362 riders, new Sound Transit figures show. The airport station is beating original predictions, while sports fans in Sodo flock to the system.
Trains are also popular for transfers, such as south-end students who continue north from Westlake Station onto buses bound for the University of Washington. The three Rainier Valley train stations are lagging, as a housing boom has failed to materialize.
Ridership charts and commentary can be found here from Seattle Transit Blog, and at Public Interest Transportation Forum by John Niles, who opposes light rail in favor of rapid buses and self-driving cars.
Link extensions are being built to Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium, and south to Angle Lake just beyond the airport, to be completed by 2016, followed by voter-approved extensions to Northgate, Lynnwood, and Overlake in the early 2020s.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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