Metro usage at Manhattan’s Grand Central and Penn Station is up about 15% from May, Jano Lieber, chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said Wednesday during a monthly board meeting. The MTA, a state agency, oversees the city’s subways, buses and commuter rail lines.
The shifts mean companies’ efforts to get workers back into the office for at least part of the week following the US Labor Day holiday are having their expected effect. Subway usage reached 3.76 million on Tuesday since the pandemic began in March 2020, according to Labor. For all of 2019, the average weekday ridership was approximately 5.5 million.
“The recent surge in ridership is a tribute to the white-collar workers who are returning to their offices more frequently as tours and school reopens,” Lieber said during the board meeting.
Some stations in lower Manhattan and central Brooklyn are seeing a 20% to 25% increase in ridership since May. Lieber said usage at the Howard Beach subway station at JFK Airport is up 25% during that period.
The MTA, the largest public transportation provider in the US, is working to get more people back into its system as many adopt the hybrid work pattern of home and office.
Safety for riders is a major concern as according to MTA data, there have been 373 attacks on the metro in 2022 till the end of August, the highest since at least 1997. To help reduce crime, the MTA plans to install over 6,400 cameras in metro train cars by 2025.
The MTA needs more riders to improve its financial position at a time when ridership and revenue have dropped due to the pandemic. The transit provider is facing an estimated $2.6 billion operating deficit in 2025 and is seeking additional state funding to help solve its projected budget gap.
“We are moving into a new fiscal year and what will be the MTA, a historic legislative session,” Lieber said.
This story has been published without modification in text from a wire agency feed. Only the title has been changed.