Sound Transit adds station agents to Sounder routes

Many Sounder commuters were greeted Monday by Sound Transit’s new station agents on train platforms. These new Sounder staff will be at each Sounder station to assist customers with ticket purchases, directions, information about delays and emergencies, or help for disabled passengers. Station agents had their first official day on the platforms on Friday.
As ridership continues to grow, says Sound Transit, new riders can sometimes use a hand buying tickets and navigating the system for the first time. Station agents will provide an added level of on-site customer service for Sounder riders.
Station agents will also help manage stations by reporting maintenance issues and offering an additional security presence. Having station agents allows for Sound Transit to re-deploy the fixed post security guards, offering greater flexibility to security staffing. Sound Transit will continue to use the roving patrols and police patrols at certain stations. The station agent program is in addition to our established security program and brings an additional presence to the stations.
Station agents will be at every Sounder station each weekday morning and for special event trains. On weekday afternoons, station agents will be at the seven Sounder stations along the south corridor between Seattle and Tacoma. A station agent will serve the new Mukilteo Station when in opens later this year.
The biggest ridership increase among Sound Transit’s three modes was on Sounder commuter rail, with a 27.4 percent increase in 2007. This represents the fourth biggest commuter rail ridership increase in the nation for 2007, and was achieved in part by service increases Sound Transit implemented last year. New service included the first “reverse commute” train that runs from Seattle to Tacoma in the morning and returns northbound in the evening.
More Sounder trains will be added in September 2008, and Sounder ridership is expected to continue to grow. Sound Transit is currently working with the region’s communities to evaluate service priorities for a ballot measure in 2008 or thereafter to expand the regional transit system. Options include increasing Sounder service on the Tacoma-Seattle corridor by 90 percent by running more trains and longer trains. As more and more Puget Sound residents discover the convenience and comfort of Sounder commuter rail for their daily commute or for attending special events like Mariners and Seahawks games, station agents will be there to help make their Sounder ride safe, convenient, and comfortable.