MTA Chairman E. Virgil Conway today announced that $50 million will be dedicated to bus and subway service increases to accommodate growing ridership over the next year that is anticipated from the introduction of MetroCard fare discounts. This plan, combined with other recent additions will amount to more than $110 million annually of additional service.
The funding will support the addition of bus and subway service to meet ridership growth as needed and will result in bringing mass transit service to its highest level in decades.
The plan anticipates increases of 2,400 weekday and 5,000 weekend bus trips on approximately two-thirds of all bus routes in order to carry an estimated increase of 5% weekday and 11% weekend bus ridership in the upcoming year.
Additionally, 190 weekday and 410 weekend subway trips will be added to carry an estimated increase of 9% in subway ridership next year. The lines to which service will be added are: A, B, C, E, F, J, L, N, Q, R, and the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Most of the increases provide additional trips during the evening peak, mid-weekday, evenings, and weekends.
Chairman Conway said, "We are pleased to be able to increase bus and subway service while making it more affordable to use. We will continue to monitor the growth of our ridership and as more additional service is needed, we will meet the demand."
MTA New York City Transit President Lawrence G. Reuter said, "Along with the increases in bus and subway service, we are upgrading our fleet of buses and subway trains so that they are up to the task of delivering this critical public service. By the year 2000, nearly half of our bus fleet will have been rebuilt or replaced with the delivery of 1,720 new buses while receipt of our 1997 order of 1,080 brand new subway cars will be well under way."
Subway and bus ridership has grown significantly, as anticipated, after the introduction of free intermodal transfers in July 1997. NYC Transit has been consistently monitoring the ridership growth and gradually increasing service to accommodate it.
From January 1997 to May 1998, NYC Transit has added 1,500 bus trips, mostly to weekday service. In addition, 50 weekday and 130 weekend subway train trips have been added on the A, B, C, D, E, F, Q, 6, and 7 lines and higher service levels were maintained this summer.