Region’s transit ridership climbs to new heights

Strong growth in light rail ridership

Transit boardings grew past 220 million by the end of 2017, an increase of 5 million over the previous year.

This is a 2.3% increase in transit ridership across the region.

Transit ridership has grown almost twice as fast as the region’s population since 2010.

Chart: Transit Boardings in 2017

The bus fleet continues to be the workhorse for the region, carrying more than 75% of all transit boardings. Although still the dominant transit mode, this share is down from 82% in 2010.

The share of boardings by light rail and streetcar continues to climb as the high capacity system reaches more of the region. Since 2010, light rail has more than doubled its share of boardings from 5% in 2010 to over 12% in 2017.

Chart: Fixed Route Transit Boardings by Mode in 2017

This strong growth in light rail ridership is a direct result of the expansion of the light rail network to Angle Lake, Capitol Hill and the University of Washington in 2016.

In a future Trend, we’ll take a look at how Puget Sound stacks up against other regions using a variety of transit ridership measures.  

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