Yesterday, Sound Transit released its latest figures on ULink, including daily ridership for April. Weekday ridership is holding at roughly 60,000 per day, and two Fridays in April (8th and 29th) set new records at 82,000 weekday riders:
In April we reported early ridership trends on Link light rail were beating expectations after opening two new stations on Capitol Hill and the University of Washington. On this the two-month anniversary of opening the University Link extension, we think it’s a good time to check in on our early ridership estimates. It turns out our early ridership estimates for a record-breaking day was low and we set another ridership record in late April.
Sound Transit collects and verifies ridership data over the course of several weeks. The latest updates show Link set two new single-day ridership records on April 8 and April 29 with an estimated 82,000 riders – surpassing the previous single-day record of an estimated 71,500 on February 5, 2014 when Seattle celebrated the Seahawks Super Bowl victory downtown.
The update also confirmed that most ULink trips are taking less than the conservative 8 minutes the schedule quotes, and closer to their 6-minute promised time once buses leave the tunnel:
Trips between the University of Washington and downtown Seattle are averaging two minutes faster than initially expected – dropping from an already impressive eight minutes to six minutes between UW Station and Westlake. The initial eight-minute trip estimates were based on early train testing. Real-world experience shows those trips are taking six minutes. Our online schedules are now being updated to reflect the faster trip times.
Lastly, the update also contained proportional station level ridership for the first time. Each station is listed as its percentage of all Link boardings, and UW Station has vaulted into second place behind Westlake:
- Westlake (16.2%)
- University of Washington (15.5%)
- Sea-Tac Airport (10.6%)
- Capitol Hill (10.3%)
- International District (7.8%)
- University Street (7%)
- Tukwila Int’l Blvd (6.2%)
- Pioneer Square (4.7%)
- Beacon Hill (3.9%)
- Columbia City (3.8%)
- Othello (3.6%)
- Mount Baker (3.3%)
- Rainier Beach (2.5%)
- Sodo (2.4%)
- Stadium (2.1%)