In addition to Metro’s recent release of preliminary bus restructure numbers, Sound Transit has also released a chart giving us a clearer picture of ULink’s station-level ridership through Q2. See above to draw your own conclusions, but here are a few noteworthy points:
- UW Station: At 9,200 boardings per day, UW Station has the 2nd most riders, and could soon surpass Westlake this fall as the busiest station in the system. Look for it to carry a proportionally heavier burden as tourist numbers fall off at Westlake and UW goes back into session next month.
- Capitol Hill: At a healthy 6,000 boardings per day, Capitol Hill comes in 4th place behind Westlake, SeaTac, and UW. It will be interesting to see if Capitol Hill has a lower ridership ceiling than other stations, as it’s much closer to having maxed out its zoned capacity, and transfers there will always lag behind UW for geographic reasons.
- Downtown: ULink has been a boon to the non-Westlake downtown stations too. While Westlake boardings are up 41%, boardings are up 82% at University Street, 80% at Pioneer Square, and 70% at International District/Chinatown.
- Stadium/Sodo/Beacon Hill: Both Stadium and Sodo still have low ridership outside of event times, but boardings are up by 50% at each station, to 1,900 per day. With event riders from UW/Capitol Hill boosting the average, Stadium is also no longer the least-ridden station. Meanwhile, Beacon Hill is enjoying 20% growth, likely a mixture of continued organic growth and riders choosing Link to Capitol Hill over Route 60.
- Rainier Valley: Ridership in the valley is mostly flat, with Mount Baker and Othello basically unchanged over a year ago. Columbia City and Rainier Beach have both grown by 25%. Columbia City has the highest ridership in the valley, with 2,300 boardings per day, while despite its growth Rainier Beach still slipped to become the least-ridden station, at just 1,800 boardings per day.
- South King: Ridership at Tukwila International Boulevard is up a modest 7%, with further growth likely curtailed by no new bus service, a very low density station area, and maxed out parking. Meanwhile, SeaTac/Airport grew by 9%, from 6,200 to 6,800 boardings.