The region’s largest public transportation agencies carried over 1 million riders on light rail, Metro buses, and water taxi service over three high-profile days in July, helping mark a month of record-setting Sound Transit ridership during the recent All-Star Game and Taylor Swift concerts.

The month of July welcomed massive crowds to downtown Seattle as fans of baseball and Taylor Swift attended events at T-Mobile Park and Lumen Field. Behind the scenes, the region’s public transportation system was the star of the show with fans relying heavily on transit options to avoid traffic, parking delays, and costs, leading to sky-high bus ridership and setting new records for Link light rail ridership.

Over 1 million riders took to light rail, Metro buses, and the water taxi over three high-profile days last month that included Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game and the two-night live performances by Taylor Swift.

“Whether they donned baseball jerseys or friendship bracelets – or both – legions of fans stepped up and filled trains, buses, and water taxis for these spectacular events, and helped transit ridership soar to new heights,” said King County Executive and Sound Transit Board Chair Dow Constantine. “Thank you to our outstanding rail operators, bus drivers, and water taxi crews who put in the extra mile to help everyone build happy lifetime memories of these beautiful summer nights.”

Transit agencies went fare-free on July 10-11 across King County Metro and Sound Transit to support riders and the national All-Star events. Sound Transit’s two-day total was 222,900 riders on Link light rail, with July 11 setting a new single-day record with an estimated 115,600 boardings. Before this year’s All-Star Week, Link light rail’s highest single ridership day was on Oct. 3, 2019, with 108,500 riders. Metro’s estimated two-day total was nearly a half-million boardings – 498,552 – plus boardings on special Metro shuttles.

On July 22 and 23, Taylor Swift played two sold-out shows to 144,000 of her biggest fans at Lumen Field. Sound Transit Link light rail set its new single-day ridership record with 119,500 boardings on Friday, July 21, breaking the previous record during All-Star Week just 10 days earlier. But that record was crushed again during the Eras Tour weekend, with ridership reaching an all-time high of 136,800 on July 23.

Ridership demand also saw a boost that weekend with the Mariners home games vs. the Toronto Blue Jays, Capitol Hill Block Party, and Bite of Seattle at Seattle Center. All told July saw 11 days with Link ridership of more than 100,000 boardings.

During the Taylor Swift concerts, Metro topped 350,000 boardings across all services, including full sailings after the shows on special water taxi trips to West Seattle, special shuttles, and added bus service. Overall last month, Metro ridership reached highs not seen in several years, rising 8-10% above other days in June and July.

Transit is the first choice for major events and the day-to-day mobility needs of riders across our region. Our integrated system is ready for both and provides frequent connections that make it fast and easy to travel across King County with confidence. – Michelle Allison, General Manager, King County Metro

The strength and vitality of our regional mobility network – over rails, roads, and water – continues to provide high-value connectivity as evidenced by this record-breaking ridership. And we are going to keep setting new records as our regional transit investments expand to connect more people to more places more efficiently, more equitably, and more sustainably for ourselves and for our children. – Julie Timm, CEO, Sound Transit

By the Numbers (estimated preliminary ridership)

Sound Transit Link light rail 1 Line (378,400 boardings July 11, 22, 23)

All-Star game (Tuesday, July 11): 115,600, beating the previous single-day record of 108,500
Taylor Swift concerts weekend (July 22-23): 126,000 and 136,800, beating the All-Star Game single-day record
Busiest 1 Line stations: Westlake station was the busiest station in terms of boardings for all of July, including for the All-Star and Taylor Swift event times, followed by Northgate station

King County Metro (buses, water taxi, special shuttles, streetcar) (631,000+ boardings July 11, 22, 23)

All-Star Game (Tuesday, July 11): 283,000 plus special shuttle boardings

  • Metro buses: 252,000 (+5 %)
  • ST Express buses (Metro operated): 19,000 (+24%)
  • Water taxi: 3,000 (+145%)
  • Streetcar: 5,300 (+37%)
  • Access paratransit: 2,445
  • Metro Flex: 1,132 (highest single day since March 6 launch)
  • Metro special downtown shuttles and added service: several hundred (stats pending)

Taylor Swift concerts weekend (July 22-23): over 350,000 plus special shuttle boardings

Metro: 318,500 (the highest weekend tallies since 2019)

  • July 22: 171,500, (+8%)
  • July 23: 147,000, (+7%)

ST Express buses (Metro operated): 19,500

  • July 22: 11,000, (+35%)
  • July 23: 8,400, (+34%)
  • Water Taxi (both days): 6,686
  • Water taxi midnight sailings: 434 and 446 boardings across four roundtrip sailings
  • Access paratransit: 2,409
  • Metro Flex: 1,268
  • Metro special downtown shuttles and added service: 2,400 (final stats pending)
  • Busiest bus routes: RapidRide D Line, E Line, H Line, 11, 36, 40 and ST 550 and ST 554