Tacoma Link carries half-a-million passengers

Success: Ridership is exceeding expectations, Sound Transit officials say.

Tacoma Link, the 1.6-mile light rail line operated by Sound Transit, carried its 500,000th passenger on Saturday, April 24. Weekday boardings are averaging 2,320, the agency reported, a number that exceeds projections made for the year 2010.

“Tacoma Link is an incredible success,” said Sound Transit Board Chair/Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. “The ridership for the first eight months of operation has far exceeded our expectations and only adds to the vibrancy of Tacoma’s downtown.”

“Weekday ridership has exceeded 2,000 since we began service on August 23, 2003,” said Sound Transit Boardmember/Tacoma City Councilman Kevin Phelps. “People realize they now have the option to leave their cars either at home or parked at work and ride Tacoma Link for free to enjoy our thriving downtown.”

In 2003 (August 23-December 31), almost 267,000 people rode Tacoma Link between Tacoma Dome Station and the city’s Theater District. More than 235,000 have already enjoyed the ride in 2004. If the current trend continues, Tacoma Link will carry more than 738,000 passengers in 2004.

“Tacoma Link is a microcosm of how light rail can work in our region,” Ladenburg said. “As we move forward with Central Link in Seattle and King County more and more people will realize the importance of this major new transit option and its ability to connect people and communities.”

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