NYC Subway Sees Rider Numbers Highest Since Pandemic

A man exits the Lincoln Center subway station in Manhattan. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

As coronavirus restrictions ease and people begin to return to their offices, public transit is seeing its biggest boost in riders since the pandemic began.

On Thursday the MTA hit 1.8 million paid subway rides and another 1.3 million paid bus rides for the single-highest number of passengers since October of 2020, Fox News 5 reported.

These numbers may be impressive, but prior to the pandemic the city’s public transit systems saw roughly 5 million daily passengers.

During the peak of the pandemic in April, ridership was as low as 300,000 a day.

“We are thrilled to see so many New Yorkers returning to the system after the most challenging year in New York City Transit history,” said Interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg. “Make no mistake: we still have a long way to go, but the progress we’ve made in bringing riders back is significant. We will continue to do everything in our power to get New Yorkers to vaccination sites and we are hopeful that more and more of our customers will return to the system in the weeks and months to come.”

The MTA’s long-simmering financial crisis was exacerbated by the plunge in daily passengers, but as numbers rise and with an injection of $6 billion in federal aid in the recent stimulus package, the agency can hold off on any permanent service cuts.