Rail ridership continues to climb

Monthly boardings on Link light rail in Seattle and Tacoma topped 1 million boardings in Janu­ary 2016 — almost twice the number of boardings in January 2010.


January 2016 light rail boardings were 3.7% higher than January 2015.

Sound Transit’s Sounder commuter rail boardings also increased almost 4% between 2015 and 2016, increasing to over 325,000 monthly boardings in January 2016.

What about buses?

Boardings on the region’s buses were down about 1% in January 2016 compared with January 2015, but still more than 7% higher than they were in January 2010.

Boardings were down on all operators except one, Community Transit, which experienced growth of approximately 1.5% between January 2015 and January 2016.

King County Metro boardings were down around 0.5% and the largest drops were on Pierce and Kitsap Transit. Kitsap Transit was the only operator that had a reduction in service hours in January 2016.

There are several things to keep in mind when looking at monthly data. For transit, a big one is how many work days there are in the month. January 2016 had 21 weekdays in it, January 2015 had 22.

One day doesn’t sound like much, but it resulted in 4.5% fewer workdays being observed in the monthly data in 2016. All things considered, bus boardings were flat in January 2016.

For more data, check out Puget Sound Trends.