Region’s growth in transit boardings leads the nation

Nearly 20% growth over 2010

Not surprisingly, as home to the fastest growing city in the U.S., the region has outpaced the nation in other types of growth.

The central Puget Sound experienced the highest total increase in transit boardings of any region in the country in 2017 and ranked second for rate of change.

Chart: Growth in Transit Boardings, 2016-2017, by Region

Since 2010, the 19% increase in transit boardings in the region has exceeded any other similarly sized region in the country.

By comparison, Portland, Denver, and Minneapolis- St. Paul have had growth rates between 0% and 4% since 2010.

In terms of transit boardings per capita, our region places 6th out of the 52 metropolitan areas in the country and is 8th overall. It is important to point out that the top five performers in this category all belong to metropolitan areas with legacy transit systems such as Chicago, Washington DC, Boston and San Francisco.

In addition to population growth, the region has also undergone an expansion of transit service, most notably with the opening of Central Link Light Rail in 2009, just before the notable uptick in transit ridership began, and boardings really took off with the expansion of light rail to Husky Stadium in 2016.

In 2017, the central Puget Sound region had more than 55 boardings per person in the region, with some of the highest rates on routes with the most frequent service.

The data source is the Federal Transit Administration’s National Transit Database, which provides a monthly report that allows for national comparisons.

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