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Rail News: Passenger Rail

New York City's subways see highest ridership in 65 years


Rail ridership along MTA New York City Transit's (NYCT) lines increased by 2.6 percent in 2014 compared with 2013's ridership, agency officials reported yesterday.

NYCT logged a total of 1.751 billion customers for 2014, which marked the highest annual ridership in more than 65 years, agency officials said in a press release.

Weekday ridership saw a 132,000 yearly increase in 2014, with the system now carrying 5.6 million customers each weekday and 6 million customers on the weekend.

Although all of the city's boroughs and lines saw increases, the highest percentage increases followed rapid residential growth in places like Brooklyn's Buschwick neighborhood and Long Island City in Queens.

Compared with the city's other boroughs, Brooklyn saw the greatest weekday ridership jump of 2.7 percent, while Manhattan increased 2.5 percent. The Bronx and Queens trailed with weekday ridership increases of 2.1 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

"The renaissance of the New York City subway is a miracle for those who remember the decrepit system of the 1970s and the 1980s, but moving more than 6 million customers a day means even minor disruptions now can create major delays," said MTA Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast.

To accommodate the larger volume of passengers, the agency is working to implement various infrastructure upgrades like the communications-based train control signaling system, an automated operating system which allows more trains to run closer together, Prendergast said.

Brooklyn's L line is the only route to utilize the new technology, which has allowed the agency to add dozens of trains per week, NYCT officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/21/2015