[UPDATE: To be absolutely clear, "the limitations of simply bypassing that segment" below refers to the critique that Central Link should have gone straight to the airport via Marginal Way, instead of doing a sharp turn to serve SE Seattle.]
Sound Transit released per-station, per time-of-day boarding data (.pdf) from earlier this year, and it’s a treasure trove of information. Although overall ridership was substantially lower than it is at the moment, there are many interesting trends:
- About 51% of all trips begin or end between Beacon Hill and Rainier Beach, which illustrates some of the limitations of simply bypassing that segment to go straight to the airport.
- Westlake and Seatac are the powerhouses of the system, as is usually the case with a terminus.
- About 11% of trips are contained entirely within the DSTT.
- University Street and Pioneer Square are weak on weekends compared to the other two tunnel stations, unsurprisingly.
- The data suggests an average trip length of 7.6 miles, or 149,000 passenger-miles/weekday. That’s exactly half the length of the line, or University-Rainier Beach.
- The PM Peak Southbound is significantly stronger than the AM peak northbound, but mid-day Northbound is stronger. That suggests that Link’s AM peak is too early.
A pie chart is below the jump. Since each station gets credit for half a trip, the portion of all trips involving a station is actually double what is shown on this chart (i.e., adding up all the true percentages would get you 200%).
Thanks to Sherwin for obtaining this data.