We’ve been hearing for months now that Link light rail ridership has gone through the roof in 2016. In May, ridership was reportedly up 83 percent from the previous year. Now, Sound Transit has released a detailed chart on how the addition of the UW and Capitol Hill stations as well as other reforms have transformed the service between Q2 2015 and Q2 2016.
Altogether, that’s a 77 percent gain from Q2 2015 to Q2 2016, which is fantastic enough and then you realize they’re probably going to keep rising given what we know about May.
As for the new stations, ridership there alone accounts for 24 percent of all weekday boardings, driving home just how critical those areas are to the growth of the system as well as the need they’re meeting. Wait until more stations open up to the north and we’ll see those numbers jump even more.
As Seattle Transit Blog notes, the new stations have been a boon to the Downtown region as well. Westlake boardings are up 41 percent, Pioneer Square boardings are up 80 percent, and International District/Chinatown boardings are up 71 percent.
South Seattle ridership has seen modest gains over the year but remains mostly unaffected by the new stations. Each station did see growth but Rainier Beach is at the very bottom of the list with 1,800 boardings/day.