Streetcar Ridership Continues to Grow


The end of the year data shows continued ridership growth on the South Lake Union Streetcar.  There were over half a million riders in 2010, a 15 percent increase over 2009, and 25 percent greater than ridership in 2008, the first full year of operation.   The gains were driven largely by increased weekday trips.  Average weekday ridership was over 1,800,  peaking at over 2,200 in August 2010.  While seasonal peaks continue to be evident, employment growth in South Lake Union led to sustained ridership growth.  In fact, the month with the highest increase over 2009 was November with an increase of 128 percent. 

The higher ridership numbers undoubtedly reflect the arrival of the headquarters, the opening of the Lake Union Park and the addition of retail businesses in South Lake Union.  With more workers scheduled to move into the Amazon offices in 2011 and 2012, SDOT anticipates the ridership will continue to rise surpassing that of 2010.

If you haven’t had a chance yet to hop on and ride the streetcar, why not add that to your “must try” list for 2011.  You might be surprised to discover the many changes that have taken place around South Lake Union this past year!

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  1. says

    The SLUT is the only transit in Puget Sound I know of with genuine real-time arrival information. It also offers smooth, quiet rides that are low to the ground so you can see the street as if you were walking it. Can’t wait for First Hill and other lines to open.

    • SDOT Blog says

      Glad you like the streetcar and its operations. We, too, are looking forward to the First Hill line and the smooth connection between Capitol Hill, First Hill and the I.D.

  2. SLUSRider says

    So how about more fare checks or an Orca reader?! Almost no one pays to ride except some of the tourists. The auto-ticket machines aren’t very useful because they don’t take both cash and credit on the same machine. Makes it very confusing for the tourists that don’t know better.

    • SDOT Blog says

      SDOT is eager to implement automated ORCA fare collection on the Seattle Streetcar. We are working with King County Metro and their ORCA system provider to identify a technical solution that will work for the streetcar, which has slightly different requirements from buses, which have driver/passenger interaction. We don’t have a timeline yet, but are working on this actively.

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