Our analysis, based on data from MTA New York City Transit, show just how important the city's public transportation system has become for residents living outside the city center:
• 20 of the 22 stations with the largest percentage increase in subway ridership were either in the outer boroughs or in Manhattan north of 96th Street.
• In 2008, 62 stations outside of Manhattan had an average weekday ridership of over 10,000 people, up significantly from 46 stations in 2003 and 36 in 1998.
• More than a quarter of all New York City subway stations-111 out of 425-saw an increase in average weekday ridership of 50 percent or more during the past decade. Brooklyn accounted for nearly half (51) of those stations; there were 28 in Manhattan, 20 in the Bronx and 12 in Queens.
• 13 stations on the L line and nine on the N line were among the 50 fastest growing stations citywide. Other lines with several stations on the top-50 list: the 2 (seven stations), 3 (six stations), F (five stations), J (five stations) and M (five stations).
The growth in outer-borough bus ridership, meanwhile, dwarfed Manhattan's during the same period. Overall, 81.7 percent of the gain in bus riders occurred outside Manhattan. Queens experienced a 28.4 percent increase; Brooklyn a 21.9 percent increase; the Bronx a 23.5 percent increase and Staten Island a 28.4 percent increase. By contrast, Manhattan's bus ridership grew by only 7.6 percent since 1998. (It actually experienced a 6.7 percent decrease between 2003 and 2008, the only borough to do so.)