Driven by light rail, transit ridership keeps growing

Monthly boardings on the region’s transit system were up approximately 3.6% in the first seven months of 2016 and continue to outpace employment and population growth. Light rail boardings have accounted for over 10% of the overall transit boardings so far this year.

Transit ridership is up 14% from the same six month period in 2011.

Transit ridership is up 14% over the same six month period in 2011.

Almost 3.8 million more boardings took place in the first seven months of 2016 than in 2015, which is a total of 108.8 million boardings through July 2016. Transit ridership is up 14% since July of 2011. There were 13.3 million more boardings in the first seven months of 2016 compared to the first seven months of 2011.

Light rail boardings have increased faster than any other transit mode in the first seven months of 2016. This increase is driven by the opening of the new light rail stations in Capitol Hill and at the University of Washington and has resulted in an additional 3.5 million boardings in the first seven months of 2016 (a 47% increase).

Bus ridership over this time period has remained fairly consistent at approximately 95 million boardings through July 2016, still at all-time record levels for the region.

Commuter rail boardings have also continued to increase with overall boardings increasing by almost 300,000 in the first seven months of 2016 (a 13.4% increase).

Although overall ridership has increased across the region, there are noticeable differences in the change in transit ridership across agencies. Sound Transit ridership has grown the most rapidly over the last three years, driven by growth across all its modes including ST Express bus, Light Rail and Commuter Rail. King County Metro and Community Transit have also experienced noticeable increases in transit ridership over the past three years. Kitsap and Everett transit ridership have remained fairly steady since 2014 with a slight decrease over the first seven months of 2016 whereas Pierce Transit has experienced a noticeable drop in ridership since 2014.

See the full Trend, here.

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Regional transit ridership growth still going strong

Monthly transit boardings were up about 3.6% in the first five months of 2016, once again outpacing employment and population growth.

 

Over the past five years, transit ridership is up over 13% since May of 2011.

Boardings on all modes of public transit have increased so far in 2016.

The Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium stations have greatly contributed to increased light rail ridership, where boardings were up almost 5% between April and May of 2016 alone.

Boardings on regional ferry routes have also increased over 2015 levels for every month in 2016 so far, for a total of 9.6 million boardings between January and May 2016.

See the full trend for additional data.

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Puget Sound region has fastest-growing transit ridership in U.S.

At a rate of 3.6% per year, the region’s transit boardings have grown faster than any other large metropolitan area in the United States since 2005.

The region has the highest vanpool rate in the country by over 1 million users.

The region has the highest vanpool rate in the country by over 1 million users.

The next fastest growing area is Tampa-St. Petersburg at around 3.1%. Puget Sound’s annual transit growth is three times faster than the Portland Metro region.

The region also has the distinction of being the vanpool capital of the country — exceeding the next closest region of Los Angeles County by over 1 million vanpool trips a year. Note that Los Angeles County is over 10 million people and we are about 3.9 million, our vanpool boardings per capita are almost three times higher than Los Angeles.

Find out more, here.

 

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