Sound Transit systemwide ridership went up 2.9 percent in Q2 of 2018, when compared to Q2 of 2017, according to the latest ST ridership report.
Riders boarded ST vehicles 12,442,840 times. The average weekday saw 163,681 boardings, a 2.4 percent increase from Q2 2017.
Link (6.2 percent more boardings) and Sounder (5.1 percent) both saw substantial ridership growth. Link’s average weekday ridership grew by 5.4 percent over Q2 2017. Westlake (11,827 boardings on an average weekday) and Husky Stadium (10,263 boardings) stations were first and second in Link ridership. Rainier Beach’s ridership grew the most, with a 14.6 percent increase in weekday ridership.
ST Express bus boardings went down a marginal 1.2 percent, which the agency says is “partially due to park-and-ride closures for East Link contruction [sic].”
The only bad news comes from Tacoma. Tacoma Link ridership is down 9 percent from Q2 2017. ST says “the total ridership decline was related to fewer special events and the temporary closure of 200 parking stalls at Tacoma Dome Station for renovation work started in June.” So, we can safely blame the drop (among other things) on Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, who played their respective May 22 and August 25 shows at CenturyLink Field, rather than the Tacoma Dome.
The region’s dramatic, sustained transit ridership growth defies the national trend. ST meets a need that STB readers have collectively seen for decades. Or, as ST more prosaically put it:
“As the region continues to grow, Link is perceived to be a good choice for commuting.”