Metro-North Railroad is seeing record ridership numbers with approximately 86.5 million customers in 2016, the highest ridership in the railroad's history, surpassing the previous record of 86.3 million, set last year. Metro-North’s total ridership has more than doubled since the railroad was founded in 1983.
The ridership figures come at a time when Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the re-envisioning of Penn Station, which is expected to host some Metro-North New Haven Line service, via four new stations in the Bronx to be built in the coming years.
“The ridership figures underscore the importance of Metro-North capacity expansion projects that are proposed,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast.
Ridership Records on Metro-North’s Harlem, Hudson and New Haven Lines
All three of Metro-North’s East of Hudson Lines surpassed records. The Harlem Line and the Hudson Line beat last year’s record by over 125,000 each, with 27.7 million rides on the Harlem Line and 16.6 million rides on the Hudson Line. The New Haven Line, Metro-North’s busiest, had another exceptional year, with 40.5 million annual rides, surpassing last’s year’s record by approximately 20,000.
East of Hudson ridership numbers are strong for both customers commuting to and from work and non-commuters. Annual commutation ridership is 0.6% above 2015. Non-commutation ridership for 2016 remains consistent with 2015’s increase of 2.3%
West of Hudson annual ridership, which was negatively impacted by September’s Hoboken Terminal train accident, dipped to 1.7 million, down 61,368 from last year.
More customers took advantage of Metro-North’s connecting services in 2016. Combined ridership on the Railroad’s three connecting services – the Hudson Rail Link, Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry and the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry – grew by about 577,000, up 3.8% from 2015. Ridership increased by 10.8% on the Haverstraw-Ossining Ferry, by 4.3% on the Newburgh-Beacon Ferry, and by 1.5% on the Hudson Rail Link.
“We’ve worked diligently to improve service for our customers by providing more frequent train service and enhancing service reliability, and we’ve accomplished these goals while maintaining the highest safety standards,” said Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti. “We’ve delivered technological advancements that make service even more convenient, including eTix and the expanding availability of real-time information. We’re pleased and grateful that customers are responding to our efforts. But this record isn’t an end point for Metro-North, and we’ll continue to strive to improve service for our customers.”