Rail car swap eases overcrowding on Sounder train

Sound Transit on Monday adds an additional passenger car on the 7:15 a.m. Sounder departure from Everett to Seattle to help relieve crowding.

“The last trip heading south in the morning saw a sudden increase in ridership last fall and now has every seat full with standing riders on more than half the trips,” agency staff wrote in an update.

The agency pulled the additional car from the 5:45 a.m. train, bringing that train down to two cars. The 6:15 and 6:45 a.m. trains remain unchanged, at two cars and three cars, respectively.

Changes also were made late last week for the afternoon trip home.

The bustling 4:05 p.m. train out of Seattle toward Everett now has three cars. The 5:35 p.m. train moves down to two cars. The 4:33 and 5:05 p.m. trains remain unchanged at three cars and two cars, respectively.

Sound Transit ordered nine new passenger cab cars for its Sounder commuter rail service, which takes commuters from Tacoma and from Everett into Seattle to bring some relief to the heavily congested I-5.

The train car order was delayed, however, and the cars have been coming in waves. Agency staff are looking to add cars on both the South and North lines, but no detailed decisions have been made, spokesman Scott Thompson said earlier. Some cars also would be kept aside to rotate in for maintenance and other needs.

The Sounder North line averages about 1,700 riders on weekdays spread across the four round trips.

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