Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sound Transit ridership saw significant increase in 2007

This may come as a shock to libertarian asphalt fanatics, but it seems Sound Transit's bus and commuter rail service are more popular than ever:
The number of people who rode Sound Transit’s fast and reliable trains and buses in 2007 increased by nearly six times the nationwide increase announced in a national report issued today.

In 2007, nearly 14 million riders boarded Sounder commuter rail, ST Express buses and Tacoma Link light rail trains, an increase of 12.3 percent over the previous year. The increase is substantially higher than the noteworthy 2.1 percent national increase documented today in an American Public Transportation Association (APTA) report.

"Each year more and more people discover that taking transit is better than dealing with rising congestion and high gas prices," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. "We will continue focusing on keeping those ridership numbers climbing by working to expand transit service. There is a lot riding on our success. Our population will go up more than 30 percent by 2030, and today about half of our state’s carbon emissions come from transportation."
This is very encouraging news.

Research confirms that transit ridership climbs dramatically when service is expanded and improved. For transit to compete, it first has to be available. If it isn't, commuters can't choose it as an alternative to driving.

Sounder and ST Express have been huge successes, but we need more than limited-stop buses and commuter rail.

Sound Transit system ridership will undoubtedly jump dramatically in 2009 when Central Link begins operating between Seattle Tacoma International Airport and Westlake Center in downtown Seattle.


Blogger typer said...

Proving once again that there is a price point for sanity and an absolute necessity for infrastructure to be in existence before people can use it. Thanks for this article.

March 12, 2008 4:34 AM  

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