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ICYMI: Governor Hochul Announces Ridership Records on MTA Commuter Railroads

Updated Sep 8, 2022 4:00 p.m.
Commuter Rail Records

LIRR and Metro-North Both Set Ridership Records, Carrying More Than 380,000 Riders; LIRR Surpasses 200,000 Riders on Weekday for First Time Since March 2020

Subways and Buses Carried Most Riders Since the Spring, Nearly 5 Million September 7; Subway Ridership at 3.4 Million, a 36.1 Percent Increase Over Comparable Day Last Year

View Photos of Returning Riders Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced record ridership on Metropolitan Transportation Authority commuter railroads, Wednesday, September 7. The Long Island Rail Road surpassed 200,000 riders on a weekday for the first time since March 2020, carrying 203,983 riders. Metro-North Railroad carried a record 179,268 riders on Wednesday, surpassing the railroad's previous record set on June 28 of 174,900.

"I am proud to announce this new ridership milestone as we welcome New Yorkers back to school and work this week," Governor Hochul said. "Public transportation is the lifeblood of New York City, and we look forward to building on this progress as we continue working to return to pre-pandemic ridership levels."

Subways and buses also showed growth, carrying close to five million riders the day before New York City schools opened. Subway ridership climbed nearly 10 percent compared to last week, carrying 3,440,418 riders, a 36.1 percent increase from the comparable day in 2021. Ridership on buses was also strong with a preliminary total 1,313,658 riders, expected to rise by approximately 15 percent when the rider count is complete.

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, "Mass transit is the lifeblood of New York, and most affordable way to get around. It is the best way for people to experience everything New York has to offer. With students, teachers and office workers now returning throughout the region, we hope to keep this progress going and reach more milestones in the weeks to come."

Metro-North President and Long Island Rail Road Interim President Catherine Rinaldi said, "The commuter railroads remain the most convenient way to get to New York City from Long Island, the Hudson Valley and Connecticut. For customers who are returning after a while, commuting has never been easier. Customers can now use the new all-in-one TrainTime app to purchase tickets, plan trips, view train capacity, and track trains for both commuter railroads. And with the fare discounts we rolled out earlier this year, taking the train is a no brainer."

New York City Transit President Richard Davey said, "Today's ridership bump signals that New Yorkers trust subways and buses to get them where they need to go. With some New Yorkers returning to their commutes for the first time in a while, NYC Transit employees will be in the system helping riders, or simply saying welcome back."

In preparation for the new school year, the MTA deployed extra buses throughout all five boroughs on weekdays for the rest of the school year. Additionally, the MTA is providing customer ambassadors in the Bronx to help students, their families and caregivers navigate the new Bronx Local Bus Network Redesign routes which began in June. Ambassadors will be available for the first four days of school, Sept. 8, 9, 12, and 13.

The MTA continues to encourage ridership with fare discounts rolled out earlier this year.

The Authority launched a fare-capping pilot on subways and buses through its contactless fare payment system OMNY that put a cap on weekly subway and bus fares. The fare-capping pilot includes a "Lucky 13" feature where, starting with the 13th ride of each week, every additional ride on subways or buses is free for the rest of that week.

On the commuter rail, both LIRR and Metro-North rolled out fare offerings including a 10 percent discount for monthly passes, and a new 20-trip ticket tailored for the hybrid work schedule. The new 20-trip ticket saves riders 20 percent on regular peak one-way fares. For commuter rail riders traveling within the five boroughs the MTA also expanded City Ticket, which offers a reduced, flat fare of $5.00 for rail travel within New York City on weekends, to include all weekday off-peak trains.