New York City subway stations are experiencing an increase in ridership, as more students return to school and workers return to work.
Janno Lieber (chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority) stated Wednesday that subway usage in Manhattan’s Grand Central Station and Penn Station has increased by 15% since May. This was according to a monthly board meeting. The MTA is a state agency that oversees the city’s subways, buses, and commuter rail lines.
These shifts indicate that companies are achieving their goal of getting workers back to work for at least part the week following the US Labor Day holiday. Lieber reports that Subway use reached 3.76million on Tuesday, which is the highest number since March 2020 when the pandemic started. Average weekday ridership for 2019 was around 5.5 million.
Lieber stated that most of the recent ridership boom is due to white-collar workers returning more often to their offices, as well as tourism and school openings.
There has been a 20% to 25% rise in ridership at some stations in central Brooklyn and lower Manhattan since May. Lieber stated that the Howard Beach subway station at JFK airport saw a 25% increase in ridership during this period.
As more people adopt a hybrid work-life balance, the MTA is the US’s largest public transportation provider.
Rider safety is of paramount concern. According to MTA data, there were 373 assaults on the subway between 2022 and August. This is the highest number since 1997. To reduce crime, the MTA will install over 6,400 cameras on subway train cars by 2025.
After the pandemic, ridership and revenue have been decimated by the MTA. The MTA requires more riders to increase its financial stability. Transit provider has an operating deficit of $2.6 billion in 2025. The MTA is looking for additional state funding to address its budget gaps.
Lieber stated, “We’re entering a new fiscal years and what will it be for the MTA? A historic legislative session.”
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