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ICYMI: Governor Hochul Announces New Pandemic-Era Subway Ridership Record

MTA
Updated October 15, 2021 4:30 p.m.

Subway Ridership Tops 3.2 Million Mark on October 14 for First Time Since Pandemic

 

Service Delivered Improves to 92%

 

Subways, Buses and Commuter Rails Combine to Surpass 5 Million Daily Riders

 

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a new pandemic-era subway ridership record of 3,236,904 customers on Thursday, October 14, surpassing the previous high set on October 7 by nearly 50,000 riders. Staten Island Railway also set a record, carrying 7,367 customers for a combined total of 3,244,271. Overall, the subway system has carried more than 3 million customers eight times in October so far. 

The Governor also announced that service delivered on the New York City Subway, the percentage of scheduled trains that are provided during peak hours, measured along the busiest part of the line, improved to 92 percent in October with daily delays down by more than 13 percent, leading to another new pandemic-era ridership record on Thursday, October 14. 

"Record-breaking transit ridership sends the signal that New York's comeback is only growing stronger," Governor Hochul said. "Bus, subway and commuter rail systems are the backbone of our economy as people return to the workplace, and we will continue working with the MTA to keep this promising momentum going." 

Bus ridership continues a healthy recovery, carrying more than 1.4 million riders nine times this month. New York City Transit as a whole has carried over 4 million riders on nine days in October. 

In addition to the encouraging totals on subways and buses, both commuter railroads continue to show signs of a strong recovery. Metro-North weekday ridership has consistently hovered around 122,000 on weekdays. The Long Island Rail Road has averaged 150,000 customers every weekday in October. The totals of NYCT Buses and Subways combined with the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad surpassed 5,000,000 riders on October 14. 

MTA Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, "New Yorkers are voting with their feet to show they feel safe and comfortable using transit, and we're thrilled to welcome them back. Let the ridership records show that the MTA is officially back on track and ready to lead the region's revival." 

The recent ridership records come a few weeks after the Authority formally launched "Welcome Back New York," a robust public messaging campaign aimed at urging New Yorkers to return to the system. 

The MTA has undertaken unprecedented cleaning and disinfecting protocols in the year since the pandemic began to ensure that the system is as safe as possible for its customers. The Authority has also rolled out public education campaigns and issued millions of masks to its customers. 

Prior to the pandemic, average weekday ridership totals routinely exceeded 5.5 million in the subway system. That figure fell by 95 percent to a low of roughly 300,000 daily trips in April 2020 as the number of COVID-19 cases peaked in the New York City area. MTA employees continued to provide service for the frontline healthcare professionals and other essential workers who needed to get to work during some of the most difficult days in New York City history.