New York Subway Ridership Sets Pandemic Record High

One of the most hopeful days for public transit in New York City in...well, a year.

1 minute read

March 16, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

New York Subway Coronvairus

Kevin Benckendorf / Shutterstock

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) reported its highest total daily ridership of the pandemic on Friday, March 12, with 1,863,962 paid trips, breaking the previous pandemic record of 1,857,822 trips on October 15. "The bus system, too, saw a spike of approximately 1.13 million additional daily trips recorded Friday, bringing trips taken systemwide to just under 3 million for the day," reports Diane Pham.

The MTA still hasn't reopened overnight service, which it closed for overnight cleaning, in a highly controversial decision, in May 2020, and ridership is still well below pre-pandemic norms. But the recent ridership improvements, coupled with news about $6.5 billion in direct funding support on the way from the federal government, are offering some long-awaited notes of optimism for transit in the nation's most populous city.

According to Pham, the MTA is spending the interim months and weeks providing support for vaccination services, recently releasing a new map that includes vaccination sites among other actions.

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