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Daily Subway Ridership Tops Two Million for the First Time Since Beginning of COVID-19 Pandemic

New York City Transit
Updated Apr 9, 2021 3:15 p.m.
Daily Subway Ridership Tops Two Million for First Time Since Beginning of COVID-19 Pandemic

Milestone Hit as Millions of New Yorkers are Vaccinated


Daily Bus Trips Exceed 1.1 Million as Customers Continue to Return to Transit System 


View Video of News Conference 


View Photos of News Conference 


MTA New York City Transit officials announced a significant milestone today -- 2,009,025 trips were recorded on the subway on April 8, the first time that more than two million trips were taken on the subway since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. 

Ridership on buses also reflect a resurgent New York City.  Bus ridership has regularly gone over one million trips since July 2020, representing more than half of bus pre-pandemic ridership. Bus ridership on Wednesday, April 7 – 1,155,405 – represents a new record high since September 2020 when fare collection resumed on buses. Preliminary data shows that there were at least 1,118,319 trips taken on MTA and NYC Transit buses on April 8.  The final bus ridership count for April 8 will be higher after additional data is tallied.     

Staten Island Railway ridership on April 8 was 3,889, making the total combined number of subway, Railway and bus trips citywide at least 3,131,233 for the day. 

“Seeing more and more riders return to the subway system gives everyone in New York a sense of optimism, and hope -- it's a return to normalcy,” said Sarah Feinberg, Interim President of New York City Transit. “I want to thank my NYC Transit colleagues who continue to work tirelessly to keep the system safe and clean as we welcome the city back.” 

“New Yorkers continue to use the bus network for their essential trips as we have seen throughout this pandemic and our transit heroes will continue to provide robust bus service to support New York City's recovery,” said Craig Cipriano, President of MTA Bus Company and Senior VP of the NYC Transit Department of Buses.

This week's subway ridership milestone comes as the recently-passed American Rescue Plan includes an additional $6.5 billion in emergency funding for the MTA. That will allow transit workers to continue providing quality service and safety measures as more customers return to mass transit in the weeks and months ahead. 

The MTA has undertaken unprecedented cleaning and disinfecting protocols in the year since the pandemic began to ensure the system as safe as possible for its customers. The Authority has also rolled out robust public education campaigns and issued millions of masks to its customers. Mask compliance in the system remains high, with more than 97 percent of customers wearing a mask when riding mass transit. These COVID-related measures will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. The MTA also rolled out special bus routes to help customers in Queens and Brooklyn get to vaccination sites more easily and unveiled updates to the subway map that allow riders to find the nearest vaccination site throughout the city. 

Prior to the pandemic, average weekday ridership totals routinely exceeded 5.5 million in the subway system. That figure fell by more than 90 percent to a low of roughly 300,000 daily trips last April as the number of COVID-19 cases peaked in the New York City area. Daily bus trips at that time were down close to 75 percent from pre-pandemic figures and fell to approximately 600,000 bus riders per day. New York City Transit workers continued to provide service for the frontline healthcare professionals and other essential workers who needed to get to work during some of the most troubling days in New York City history.