Highest Figures Since 1948

Riders crowd onto train

Subway ridership is on an upward trend. Annual subway ridership increased 0.6% from 2014 to 2015 to 1.763 billion, the highest since 1948. Weekday ridership increased by 0.9% to 5.7 million, also the highest since 1948. Forty-nine weekdays in 2015 had over six million riders. Weekend subway ridership declined by 0.7% to 5.9 million, but is still among the highest since two-day weekends became nearly universal in the mid-20th century.

Weekday ridership changes were fairly evenly distributed by borough in 2015. Manhattan and Queens stations increased by 0.9 percent, matching the system-wide increase. Brooklyn station entries increased by 1.4, while Bronx stations increased by 0.3 percent.

As subway ridership surges along with New York City’s population, the increased number of customers creates challenges for the MTA to operate the subway system while minimizing delays, crowding and inconvenience. The subway system has traditionally performed maintenance work during off-peak hours, which are now experiencing record ridership.

“Our subway is now carrying more than 6 million customers on given days and even minor disruptions now can create major delays,” said MTA New York City Transit President Veronique “Ronnie” Hakim. “The MTA's 2015-19 Capital Program provides a critical resource to meet this increasing demand by reducing disruptions, improving infrastructure and increasing the number of subway trains in service when ridership requires it. The Capital Program also includes funding for Communications-Based Train Control signaling systems to accommodate our growing number of customers.”

2015 Ridership Trends

Downtown Manhattan (south of Canal Street) saw average weekday ridership increase by nearly four percent, reflecting the continued relocation of technology, advertising and media-related companies to Lower Manhattan. Weekday ridership at the Fulton St A SubwayC SubwayJ SubwayZ Subway2 Subway3 Subway4 Subway5 Subway station increased 7.5% in 2015, after renovations were completed and the Fulton Center complex was fully reopened in November 2014. Fulton St is now the 8th busiest station in the system with annual ridership of 21.7 million.

Crosstown G Subway line weekday ridership increased 8.9 percent, due in part to a return to full service in 2015 following the Greenpoint Tunnel closure in the summer of 2014. In addition, G Subway line ridership is growing due to continuing residential growth in the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods.

A sustained ridership increase throughout the Rockaway A Subway line continued in 2015, as the area recovers from Superstorm Sandy and new residential development is occurring throughout the Rockaways. Weekday ridership on the Rockaway line (which includes Broad Channel, Howard Beach-JFK, Aqueduct-North Conduit Av, and Aqueduct Racetrack) increased 7.2 percent in 2015 and weekend ridership increased 9.6 percent.

Myrtle M Subway line weekday ridership increased 6.6 percent in 2015. Ridership growth was especially robust at the Central Av station, with weekday ridership up 13.2%.

When the Montague Tubes reconstruction ended in September, 2014, R Subway service which had been split between Brooklyn and Manhattan-Queens was restored to a single route via the tunnel, resulting in increased ridership at Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn R Subway stations such as Whitehall St/South Ferry R Subway1 Subway (up 25.2 percent), Rector St R Subway (up 49.2 percent), Cortlandt St R Subway (up 58.5 percent), City Hall R Subway (up 45.3 percent), and Jay St-MetroTech A SubwayC SubwayF SubwayR Subway (up 5.0 percent). Other routes which had compensated for the loss of R Subway service through the Montague Tubes saw a portion of their ridership revert to the R Subway, resulting in ridership decreases at stations such as Bowling Green 4 Subway5 Subway, Wall St (2 Subway3 Subway and 4 Subway5 Subway), Nevins St 2 Subway3 Subway4 Subway5 Subway, and Brooklyn Bridge-Chambers St 4 Subway5 Subway6 SubwayJ SubwayZ Subway.

For the first time since the early 1990s, Canarsie L Subway line ridership from 3 Av to Morgan Av declined. Average weekday ridership at these stations (excluding the Metropolitan Av-Lorimer St transfer station), fell 1.4 percent, from 91,429 to 90,118. Grand St experienced the largest decline, falling 6.6 percent on weekdays. Total average weekday Canarsie line ridership in Brooklyn grew 0.5 percent. During the same period, average weekday ridership on the Jamaica J SubwayM SubwayZ Subway line from Marcy Av through Myrtle Av increased 4.2 percent, indicating that a shift from the L Subway to the J SubwayM SubwayZ Subway may be taking place.

The NYC Transit ridership pages on www.mta.info have been updated to include 2015 ridership for both buses and subways. Go to http://web.mta.info/nyct/facts/ridership/index.htm for ridership statistics.