There were those that said our SOUNDER would be a flop. That was 6 years ago, and at first, it was. Sound Transit officials stuck by it, and it has grown. Departure times continued to creep up to prime commuting times, more stations opened(they only had two mid-line stations running, and only one of those two was finished), extra trips have been added, and they now carry several thousand riders a day. Every time I take a ride to observe it, I keep getting disaponted. I expect an empty train, and what do I get instead? If it is Sounder 1501(King St. Station to Tacoma), which leaves at 4:20PM, it is often Standing Room Only. After I was excused from Jury Duty in Kent back in late May, I caught this very train, to take a ride to Tacoma, and there was over a hundred people getting off. The Kent Station is also Metro's bus hub for Kent.
The Everett Line suffered from many of the same problems the Tacoma Line had at start-up. $3 per gallon gas and a second trip caused a small jump in ridership, and improvements to allow the planned 4 round-trips are about to begin construction. BNSF took forever to get the agreement for SOUNDER to use it's track.
SOUNDER has it's problems, but they are working through it. Once the Everett Track and Signal Upgrades are finished, the last major extension of ST Phase I for SOUNDER will be to Lakewood, and a tough grade is in the way, but they are working on it. Thier is a popular bus route, that once had to be suspended because Pierce Transit had a lack of extra buses and drivers to sustain the service in the early 1990s. One Sounder Train, of 6 cars with 140 passengers per car, can carry more than several buses.
Their are those that expect immediate results with rail transit, but sometimes it is gradual.
Bus and Rail fan of the Pacific Northwest