Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tacoma Streetcar Ridership

More on the ridership front. At the very end of an article discussing a workshop in Cincinnati on Streetcars, there was an interesting statistic thrown out.
The panelists struggled to explain why streetcars attract more riders than buses. Johnsen cited a Tacoma, Wash. bus line that carried 175,000 people a year was replaced by a streetcar, and ridership jumped to 800,000 a year.
I had never seen this before, but it makes sense. The Tacoma Streetcar has been rather successful with about 3,000 riders a day. This is in addition to the Portland Streetcar Ridership numbers which were modeled to be 3,500 by the usual modeling for transit. It started off there but by the time the extension was built, it was already at 6,500. Now its at 12,000 a day. And that is with 12 minute headways. I can't imagine what would happen if they halved them.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Tacoma Link has been pretty successful for the 1.6 mile line it is. It's an integral component of the University of Washington Tacoma and a well received addition to the CBD.

We've been working since it opened in 2003 to get it extended out of Downtown to a couple other non-CBD business districts. The ridership potential is there, the development potential is there, but the capital costs still remain a stumbling block.

Sound Transit, our regional transit authority, is looking into a pot of money for matching funds for extensions.