THE chair and CEO of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Ms Janno Lieber, NYCT president Mr Richard Davey and MTA acting chief customer officer Mr Shanifah Rieara recognised Bronx resident Ms Sasha Salazar as the one-billionth subway rider of 2022 during a ceremony at 161 Street-Yankee Stadium station on December 27.

The milestone marks the first time the New York City Subway has carried one billion passengers in a calendar year since 2019. The subway carried just 640 million riders in 2020 and 760 million in 2021. Now, average daily subway ridership is nearly 60% of 2019’s pre-pandemic levels, when the network carried 1.7 billion passengers. 

Up to October 31, the latest date for which comparable MTA non-preliminary data is available, subway ridership is up 38.6% over similar year-to-date data for 2021, New York City Buses are up 13.4%, Metro-North Railroad is up 65.9%, Long Island Rail Road is up 56.9%, Staten Island Railway is up 47%, Access-A-Ride is up 11.3%, and traffic on MTA Bridges and Tunnels is up 7.0%.

“In 2022, customers have voted with their MetroCard swipes and Omny taps, and hundreds of millions have returned to the subway,” Lieber said. “Hitting this milestone, one billion subway riders in 2022, demonstrates again how essential mass transit is to New York City’s economy and continued recovery from the pandemic.”