As Pierce County vehicle owners fume over sharply higher license renewal costs, Sound Transit is touting a 23 percent jump in ridership systemwide for all of 2016.

The connection between these two items is that a tax on motor vehicles is more than tripled for renewals beginning March 1st to support the next generation of ST3 growth. Voters in Pierce County were against the expansion, but more “Yes” votes in King and Snohomish counties prevailed, so it was approved.

The regional transportation system reported nearly 43 million riders on Sound Transit trains and buses last year. Link light rail ridership surged 65.8 percent with the opening of new stations and lines from Angle Lake through Capital Hill to University of Washington in Seattle. 

Passenger usage of Tacoma Link light rail fell 3.4 percent for all of 2016 compared to the year before, although November recorded an 8.4 percent same month gain over 2015. ST managers assess that two special event service days made that difference.

You can see the detailed ST performance report at this link.