Thursday, May 20, 2021

New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, & MetroNorth Ridership Reaches New Pandemic Records

The subway topped 2.2 million rides in one day, with buses topping 1.2 million rides.

Credit: MTA

NEW YORK, NY - The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that the New York City Subway, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North Railroad all achieved pandemic ridership records on May 14, with 2,265,489 trips on the New York City subway, 104,885 on the Long Island Rail Road, and 85,684 on Metro-North Railroad that day. These figures mark the highest single-day ridership totals for those agencies since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic for both commuter railroads and the subway system. Nearly 1.2 million customers rode the bus on May 14, with the 1,188,284 ridership total not far off from the pandemic high of 1,245,629 from May 6. Altogether, more than 3.4 million riders used New York City Transit’s subways and buses on Friday.

Here's my take on this; people need to stop being fearmongered and/or gaslighted by what they see or hear from others in regards to mass transit being a super-spreader for COVID-19. That is 100% false. Lets make one thing clear. At the beginning of the pandemic, the subways were unsafe to use during the pandemic due to the fact that everyone was ill prepared to combat this illness by wearing masks, proper CPC, and keeping clean & sanitized. After 132 MTA Transit employee deaths from this disease, they have shut down the subways during the overnight hours of 1 AM-5 AM (changed to 2 AM to 4 AM back on 02/15/2021). MTA may not be perfect or the best, but they do what they can to make up for what happened this past year on their watch. Now, if you can, ride the bus, ride the subways. The city is slowly reopening and we need to get back a sense of normalcy. 

The MTA has undertaken unprecedented cleaning and disinfecting protocols in the year since the pandemic began to ensure that the system is as safe as possible for its customers. The Authority has also rolled out robust public education campaigns and issued millions of masks to its customers. Mask usage in the system remains high, with more than 98% of customers wearing a mask when riding mass transit. The MTA also enhanced its Live Subway Map to allow riders to find vaccination sites throughout the city.

Prior to the pandemic, average weekday ridership totals routinely exceeded 5.5 million in the subway system. That figure fell by more than 90% to a low of roughly 300,000 daily trips last April as the number of COVID-19 cases peaked in the New York City area. The low point of bus ridership was 278,000 on Sunday, April 12, 2020. Average weekday subway ridership in April 2020 was 463,763. MTA employees continued to provide service for the frontline healthcare professionals and other essential workers who needed to get to work during some of the most difficult days in New York City history. Stay tuned for the next post of the return of 24/7 subway service. 

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