Sound Transit bus and train ridership continued to climb during the third quarter, with total boardings increasing by 21 percent compared with the same period last year. Normally, transit boardings decline during the summer compared with the other seasons, but the highest year-to-date monthly ridership was recorded in July, when average weekday boardings exceeded 60,000. Mid-summer gasoline prices that averaged over $4 per gallon clearly contributed towards this surge. Since that time, average weekday boardings have dipped slightly but are still much higher than one year ago. All service modes are experiencing growth, including Tacoma Link.
Thus far, the economic downturn has not significantly affected Sound Transit ridership growth, and recent monthly boarding totals are holding up well, especially considering the large drop in gasoline prices that started in late September. Bus overcrowding continues to be a serious issue, but there is evidence that the severity of the problem has eased somewhat during the months of September and October with fewer reports of crush loading and pass-up conditions.
You can read the full ridership report on the ST website. Overcrowded buses should be eased next year as the 100,000 service hour increase funded by Sound Transit 2 (aka Prop. 1) goes into effect.