Commuting Report: Subway Ridership Down, Bikes on the Up


Over the weekend New York City Transit released a whole bunch of data about how we ride the subway. It turns out, ridership for 2009 was down slightly from 2008 (blame the economy and the fact that a bunch of us were unemployed; if you’re the MTA, blame construction).

Second Ave. Sagas synopsizes:

Transit reported 1,579,866,600 total subway riders in 2009 with a weekday average of 5,086,833, a Saturday average of 2,928,247 and a Sunday average of 2,283,601. In 2008, total ridership topped 1.625 million with averages of 5.229 million during the week and 2.98 million and 2.312 million on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Among the data we also get the much-anticipated 2009 subway station popularity ranking, not to mention a pretty cool interactive map from the New York Times. As expected, Times Square takes home the most-hectic crown, followed by Grand Central and Herald Square.

Station // Ridership
Times Square // 58,099,313
Grand Central // 42,002,971
34 St-Herald Sq // 36,945,680
Union Square // 34,245,245
34 St-Penn St. (1/2/3) // 27,196,195
34 St-Penn St. (A/C/E) // 24,182,097
Columbus Circle // 20,418,815
59th St./Lexington Ave. // 18,924,005
86th St. (4/5/6) // 18,891,890
Fulton St. // 18,845,513

Significant cuts to city subway and bus services are planned for June, which has some transit folks concerned that New Yorkers are going to go off the subway completely. While that seems unlikely, today’s stats that New York has more daily bicycle riders than any other city in the country may indicate a case to be made after all — once some 1.3 million of us get bikes, that is.

And — if we’re really all getting that much exercise — maybe Bloomberg will finally back the heck off on the salt tax.