New York subways mark days of 6 million riders

Written by Douglas John Bowen

As New York City’s subway ridership has improved, journalistic shorthand has routinely noted the system, easily the largest rapid transit system in the U.S., carries 5 million riders per weekday. MTA New York City Transit now is suggesting that assumed number may soon need revision.

“Ridership on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Subway system reached unprecedented milestones in September, breaking the previous single-day ridership record five times in a single month, MTA said Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014.

MTA noted, “Newly available figures show 6,106,694 customers rode the subway on Tuesday, Sept. 23, making it the highest ridership ever since daily figures were first recorded in 1985. Four other September days also saw more than 6 million customers, and the 149 million customers over the month were more than in any other September in more than 60 years.”

Said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast, “New Yorkers and visitors alike continue to vote with their feet, recognizing that riding the subway is the most efficient way to get around town.

“This is a phenomenal achievement for a system that carried 3.6 million daily customers just 20 years ago, Prendergast added. “s ridership increases, the MTA Capital Program is vital to fund new subway cars, higher-capacity signal systems and improved stations to meet our customers’ growing needs and rising expectations.”

Subway ridership has grown steadily in recent years, approaching levels last seen during the World War II era when the subway network included more elevated lines, many customers were counted twice as they transferred between different systems, and far fewer New Yorkers owned cars, MTA noted.

MTA also noted, “Record-breaking ridership was recorded on September weekends as well. Fueled by ridership generated by the People’s Climate March, 2,953,948 customers rode the subway on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. This was the highest Sunday ridership since daily records began in 1985 and likely the highest since the late 1940s.”

Tags: ,