Subways Carried 3.61 Million Riders on September 8, Highest Since March 2020
Subway Record Comes Day After LIRR and Metro-North Set Ridership Records
Subways and Buses Carried 5 Million Riders, Highest Combined Total Since Spring 2022
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that New York City subway and buses carried more than five million riders on the first day of school for New York City public schools. Subways set a ridership record on Thursday, September 8, carrying 3,641,033 riders, a 34.8 percent increase from the comparable day in 2021. The record set is the highest day of subway ridership since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 12, 2020. Bus ridership hit the 1.4 million-mark Thursday, with a preliminary total of 1,412,574 riders, which is expected to rise by approximately 15 percent when the rider count is complete.
"I am proud of our record-breaking ridership numbers 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 will build on this progress as we continue working to return to pre-pandemic ridership levels."
MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, "Students and teachers are among the most loyal transit riders. Anyone who grew up in the city will remember their first MetroCard and taking the train or bus with their family or friends. We are happy to have students back on mass transit and are encouraged by the progress ridership has made during the first full week of September."
New York City Transit President Richard Davey said, "NYC Transit has prepared for the return of students all summer, and we are happy to have them back. We are looking at ways to increase the frequency of buses and trains and reduce travel times to make sure everyone makes it to school in time for first period."
The subway record follows a pair of ridership records on the commuter railroads. The Long Island Rail Road surpassed 200,000 riders on a weekday for the first time since March 2020, carrying 203,983 riders on September 7. On that same day, Metro-North Railroad carried a record 179,268 riders, surpassing the railroad's previous record set on June 28 of 174,900.
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, September 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 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.