After new stations open Sound Transit sees crowded trains

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Sound transit light rail (FILE PHOTO)

SEATTLE (AP) — Sound Transit, which for years ran light-rail trains that were too empty, now has cramped passengers clamoring for more railcars.

Our news partner The Seattle Times reports that about 65,000 riders a day are taking light rail, two-thirds more than a year ago. That’s after the University of Washington and Capitol Hill stations in Seattle opened in March.

The numbers aren’t a huge surprise in a densely populated corridor, but ridership has already reached the levels expected in 2018.

Transit managers have deployed a few more railcars but don’t have enough to convert the entire fleet of two-car trains into three-car trains. They say crowding isn’t severe enough to justify major costs to run a three-car fleet.

Fuller trains are crossing the city as voters consider this fall’s $54 billion Sound Transit 3 ballot measure, to increase annual taxes for a median household by about $326. That would add 62 miles of light-rail lines in seven directions by 2041.

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