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ICYMI: Governor Hochul Announces MTA Commuter Railroads Set Post-Pandemic Ridership Records on Same Day

Updated May 10, 2023 4:15 p.m.

LIRR and Metro-North Both Carried More Than 200,000 Riders on Tuesday, May 9 

LIRR Has Carried Over 200,000 Riders in a Single Day 27 Times Since Opening of Grand Central Madison

Metro-North Surpasses 200,000 Riders in a Single Day for First Time Since March 6, 2020 

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad set post-pandemic ridership records on Tuesday, May 9. LIRR carried approximately 221,290 riders on Tuesday, marking the 27th time the railroad has eclipsed 200,000 riders in a single day since the opening of Grand Central Madison. Metro-North hit the 200,000-rider mark for the first time since March 6, 2020, carrying approximately 205,069 riders on Tuesday, smashing the previous record of 195,086 on April 19.

"We have continued to make historic investments in our commuter rail services and the MTA - the life-blood of New York City," Governor Hochul said. "From opening Grand Central Madison to securing more than $1 billion in sustained funding for the MTA, I am committed to expanding service and bringing riders back to the nation's largest transit system."

The LIRR records follow a 41 percent service increase in February 2023 that accompanied the opening of Grand Central Madison. Prior to the full opening of Grand Central Madison on February 27, the LIRR had exceeded 200,000 riders in a single day only twice since the beginning of 2023.

The Metro-North record follows a strong month of April, in which Metro-North set post-pandemic ridership records on consecutive days on April 18 and 19. The railroad also had a record-high level for Monday ridership, carrying 180,789 riders the day before yesterday, nearly 7,000 more than the previous best Monday on April 24.

MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, "The ridership records keep coming, and they validate everything the MTA has been doing to make the commuter rails an attractive option—more frequent service, fare discounts, and with Grand Central Madison, an incredible new facility and a shorter commute."

Metro-North Railroad President and LIRR Interim President Catherine Rinaldi said, "While discretionary travel has been an important part of the railroads' recovery, it's clear that in-office work is returning, and we are thrilled to see both railroads shattering their previous weekday post-COVID ridership records. With the opening of Grand Central Madison, the expansion of CityTicket, and the recent introduction of the Combo Ticket, it is clear that the railroads are simply the best and most convenient way to move around the region."

The ridership records on both railroads come on the heels of their best month since 2020. Preliminary ridership statistics indicate that in April, both the LIRR and Metro-North carried a combined 9.46 million riders and posted their highest average weekday ridership since the pandemic began.

On an average weekday in April, the LIRR carried 200,915 customers. Grand Central Madison has already passed major iconic facilities like Boston South Station and Chicago Union Station in the rankings of busiest commuter railroad facilities. On April 24, the LIRR reinstated full-time, year-round service at Mets-Willets Point station to encourage riders to take mass transit to Citi Field events and provide Queens residents with an alternative travel option.

Metro-North carried 180,174 riders on an average weekday in April. On April 18, Metro-North reached a pandemic-era ridership record with 194,549 customers. The record was broken a day later, on April 19, when Metro-North carried 195,086 riders. The consecutive ridership records culminated in the railroad reaching its three-day ridership high since the pandemic of 193,111.