Sound Transit’s latest quarterly service report, released on November 15, shows continued growth in Link ridership. In Quarter 3 (Q3), Link enjoyed 8.2 percent more weekday boardings than in Q3 of 2017, or 81,022 boardings on a typical weekday.
Sounder (+2.5 percent) and paratransit (+6.6 percent) also experienced ridership growth compared to Q3 2017. ST Express bus ridership decreased slightly (-1.7 percent), while Tacoma Link streetcar service declined significantly (-15.4 percent) against Q3 2017’s ridership figures.
According to ST, paratransit and Link’s ridership growth are symbiotic: “The increase is attributed to the increased ridership on Link and additional customers requesting access to the Link system.”
The report says the drop in Tacoma ridership was caused by “fewer special events in downtown Tacoma and the temporary closure of 200 parking stalls at Tacoma Dome Station for renovation work started in June.”
ST Express service declined, the report says, because of construction and congestion on I-90, which affect Routes 545 and 550. The previous ridership report also cited the closure of park and rides due to East Link construction as a reason for the 550’s drop in riders. That inference suggests that riders are likely to return to the 550 or shift to Link commutes when the project is completed.
Each Link station drew more riders than in Q3 2017.