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Subway and bus ridership for 2019

Updated Apr 14, 2020

Why this matters

In a normal year, farebox revenue accounts for about half of the MTA’s annual budget, or about $8 billion.

In 2019, unlike transit systems in other parts of the country, our ridership increased. In fact, 2019 was the first year that subway ridership stopped declining since 2015. This money has been crucial to improvements we've been making throughout the system to make your transit more reliable.

This upward trend in ridership continued in January and February of 2020, with both months outpacing January and February in 2019. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, our ridership has plummeted. We're glad people are heeding the advice of public health officials and staying home when they can. However, the scale of the deficit is unprecedented. We asked for federal support not only so that we can continue operating through the crisis, but also so that transit can continue to serve as a catalyst for economic growth. 

Overview of the New York City’s transit system

We operate the largest public transportation agency in North America and one of the largest in the world. The subway has a daily ridership of approximately 5.5 million and an annual ridership in 2019 of roughly 1.698 billion.

Our system includes: 

  • More than 6,600 subway cars, which collectively traveled about 365 million miles in 2019
  • 472 subway stations
  • 665 miles of track
  • 5,927 vehicles in our bus fleet, all 100% accessible to riders with disabilities
  • 234 local bus routes, 20 Select Bus Service routes, and 73 express routes in the five boroughs

How we calculate ridership

Subways

We include:

  • All passengers who enter the subway system, including passengers who transfer from buses.

We do not include: 

  • Employees
  • Passengers who exit the subway
  • Passengers who transfer from other subway lines, with the exception of out-of-system transfers, where you use your MetroCard to make the transfer.

 

Buses

We include:

  • All passengers who board buses using a valid MetroCard, cash, transfer, Select Bus Service ticket, or student MetroCard

We do not include: 

  • Employees
  • Non-revenue passengers (such as children under 44 inches tall traveling with an adult) 
  • B42 riders boarding inside the paid zone of the Rockaway Parkway subway station.

Average weekday, Saturday, and Sunday ridership includes every weekday, Saturday, and Sunday in the year, except major holidays and days when the subway system was closed or operated fare-free.

Average weekend ridership is the two-day sum of average Saturday plus average Sunday ridership. Ridership on major holidays (New Year’s Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas) is included only in the annual total.

Summary of subway ridership

Year

Average Weekday

Average Saturday

Average Sunday

Average Weekend

Annual Total

2014

5,597,551

3,323,110

2,662,795

5,985,905

1,751,287,621

2015

5,650,610

3,309,731

2,663,418

5,943,149

1,762,565,419

2016

5,655,755

3,202,388

2,555,814

5,758,201

1,756,814,800

2017

5,580,845

3,156,673

2,525,481

5,682,154

1,727,366,607

2018

5,437,586

3,046,289

2,392,658

5,438,947

1,680,060,402

2019

5,493,875

3,087,043

2,407,152

5,494,195

1,697,787,002

Top 10 busiest subway stations in 2019

Rank

Station/Complex

Lines

Ridership

1

Times Sq-42 St/42 St

N, Q, R, W, S, 1, 2, 3, 7, A, C, E

65,020,294

2

Grand Central-42 St

S, 4, 5, 6, 7

45,745,700

3

34 St-Herald Sq

B, D, F, M, N, Q, R, W

39,385,436

4

14 St-Union Sq

L, N, Q, R, W, 4, 5, 6

32,385,260

5

Fulton St

A, C, J, Z, 2, 3, 4, 5

27,715,365

6

34 St-Penn Station

1,2,3

25,967,676

7

34 St-Penn Station

A,C,E

25,631,364

8

59 St-Columbus Circle

A,B,C,D,1

23,040,650

9

Chambers St, WTC /Park Pl/Cortlandt

A, C, E, 2, 3, R, W

20,820,549

10

Lexington Av-53 St/51 St

E, M, 6

18,957,465

About our subway data

We have 472 stations, the largest number of public transit subway stations of any system in the world. Note that our table lists 424 stations. We combined ridership data for station complexes, where stations are connected by transfer passageways. (We can't accurately allocate ridership to each station in a complex.) For example, the 14 St A, C, E station is combined with the 8 Av L station.

The station names and lines stopping at each station reflect service at the end of 2019.

In our spreadsheet, stations are listed alphabetically by borough, and the rankings are by 2019 ridership. The “systemwide adjustment” accounts for miscellaneous ridership and other adjustments that are not allocated by station.

In our tables, stations that were temporarily closed (either fully or partially) are highlighted in blue; click the station name for the closure dates. For these stations, zero ridership was included in the averages for any days when the station was closed, except for the days when the entire subway was closed or fare-free.

Download our subways ridership data.

Summary of bus ridership (New York City Transit)

Year

Average Weekday

Average Saturday

Average Sunday

Average Weekend

Annual Total

2014

2,123,092

1,305,437

1,024,279

2,329,716

667,051,170

2015

2,070,386

1,278,031

995,788

2,273,819

650,681,784

2016

2,038,119

1,221,299

957,427

2,178,725

638,413,113

2017

1,923,993

1,168,978

923,694

2,092,672

602,620,356

2018

1,811,605

1,122,626

868,057

1,990,683

569,361,220

2019

1,770,394

1,108,809

847,931

1,956,740

557,036,504

Summary of bus ridership (MTA Bus Company)

Year

Average Weekday

Average Saturday

Average Sunday

Average Weekend

Annual Total

2014

407,115

228,304

175,552

403,826

125,581,237

2015

405,978

228,976

176,503

405,478

125,399,522

2016

407,201

225,844

174,057

399,902

125,617,157

2017

396,229

222,833

173,565

396,398

122,214,328

2018

392,617

224,751

170,892

395,643

121,448,276

2019

388,075

228,364

171,762

400,126

120,551,580

Top 10 busiest routes by ridership in 2019

Rank

Route

Borough

Ridership

1

M15 Local/SBS

Manhattan

14,513,168

2

Bx12 Local/SBS

Bronx

13,046,584

3

B46 Local/SBS

Brooklyn

11,916,793

4

B6

Brooklyn

10,826,224

5

B44 Local/SBS

Brooklyn

10,079,995

6

M14 Local/SBS

Manhattan

9,410,481

7

Q58

Queens

9,131,904

8

Bx1/2

Bronx

8,683,443

9

B82 Local/SBS

Brooklyn

8,340,460

10

Q44 SBS

Queens

8,248,771

About our bus data

At the end of 2019, the MTA Bus and New York City Transit bus system had 234 local, 20 Select Bus Service and 73 express routes. Starting August 18, 2018, the Staten Island Express Bus network was redesigned to bring faster and more direct service.  

Local routes begin with one or two letters corresponding to the major borough of operation (B=Brooklyn, Bx=Bronx, M=Manhattan, Q=Queens, S=Staten Island). New York City Transit express routes begin with the letter “X”, except for “SIM” used for express routes established under the Staten Island Express Bus Network Redesign.  

MTA Bus express routes begin with “BM” for Brooklyn to Manhattan routes, “BxM” for Bronx to Manhattan routes, and “QM” for Queens to Manhattan routes. In the ridership averages, zero was included for any day during the year on which a given route did not operate, except for the days when the entire bus system was closed or fare-free. In the following tables, certain routes that effectively operate as a single route are combined.

For example:

  • The S48 and S98 both run along Forest Avenue in Staten Island. The S48 makes all local stops, and the S98 makes limited stops.
  • The Bx40 and Bx42 both run along Tremont Avenue in the Bronx; the Bx40 eastern terminal is at Fort Schuyler, and the Bx42 eastern terminal is on Harding Avenue.

The “systemwide adjustment” accounts for miscellaneous ridership not allocated by route and should be added to the route totals to match the official systemwide ridership shown in the table above.

Download our data for NYCT bus ridership and MTA Bus company ridership.