Ridership on NYC Transit trains and buses in 2009 was down 2.7% or 63.5 million trips from 2008, another recession year, but last year's 2.31 billion riders was still the second-highest number since 1969.
"2009 was a very tough year for the city and regional economy, and that is reflected in the preliminary ridership numbers," said Tom F. Prendergast, president, NYC Transit. "But despite the job losses, our ridership remained near record levels, which is a reflection of the importance the bus and subway network has to the region and the value that MetroCard discounts continue to provide our customers, especially in these tough times."
He said farebox revenue came in $2.1 million short of estimates, at $3.14 billion, "further eroding the MTA's overall precarious financial position."
Subway ridership in 2009 was the highest since 1951 except for 2008, falling short of that year by 2.7% (44.2 million trips). Bus ridership in 2009 was down 2.8% (20.5 million trips) from 2008.
On the subways, average weekday ridership was 5.1 million in 2009, the second-highest since 1952. However, average weekday subway ridership decreased by 2.7% (139,000 trips) from 2008 totals. Average weekday local bus ridership declined by 2.5% (58,000 trips) to 2.3 million in 2009.
On the subways, the largest decrease was in Manhattan, where average weekday ridership was down 3.6%, mostly due to ridership declines in Midtown associated with job losses.