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ICYMI: Governor Hochul Announces MTA Pandemic-Era Subway, Metro-North, and Long Island Rail Road Daily Ridership Records Set This Week

Updated May 19, 2022 7:45 p.m.
Coney Island Subway

Subways Carried 3,601,554 Riders, LIRR Carried 182,700 Riders, and Metro-North Carried 162,100 Riders 

Record of Nearly 1.2 Million New Yorkers Rode the Subway by Using OMNY 

50,000 Limited Edition Commemorative MetroCards Celebrating Notorious B.I.G’s 50th Birthday To Be Available at Four Brooklyn Subway Stations

View Photos From Today's Event Here


Governor Kathy Hochul with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority today announced that subway ridership on Wednesday topped 3.6 million, breaking a previous record set just the day before on May 17, of 3.535 million. Additionally, on Tuesday, May 17, pandemic-era ridership records were set on both the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad with Long Island Rail Road recording 182,700 rides, and Metro-North recording 162,100 rides. Each of these figures surpass pandemic-era records set in the past several weeks, and are the highest totals since March 2020. The subway system exceeded the record set on May 5 by approximately 90,000 rides, LIRR exceeded the record set on May 11 by over 4,000 rides and Metro-North exceeded the record set on May 10 by over 3,000 rides. This record day of ridership comes after New York City Transit setting a pandemic-era record for workweek trips with nearly 24 million rides between Monday, May 9 and Friday, May 13. 

"This week, New York reached a milestone in transit ridership, one of the most encouraging indicators that our comeback from COVID is right on track," Governor Hochul said. “Public transportation systems are the lifeblood of New York, and we will continue doing everything in our power to bring riders back, helping drive our economic recovery.” 

A record numbers of riders are also taking advantage of OMNY and the flexibility of fare-capping. Subway OMNY taps reached a record at nearly 1.2 million rides on Wednesday, May 18. 

Ridership on both railroads and the subway have been steadily growing as major companies began to bring employees back to the office starting in March and following the rollout of a series of pilot fare programs designed to encourage riders to return to transit by making fares more affordable and flexible. The four highest pandemic-era ridership days on the subway have all been recorded in May 2022, and both railroads have reached new pandemic-era ridership highs in each of the past 3 weeks. 

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “This week’s record ridership on both our commuter railroads and the subway are just the latest evidence that New York’s comeback is being powered by transit. We are committed to bringing riders back with the new OMNY ‘Lucky 13’ weekly unlimited and other fare discount options, as well as frequent, reliable service, and we can’t wait to welcome more New Yorkers back to mass transit in the weeks and months to come.” 

New York City Transit President Richard Davey said, “The subway is essential to making New York City the dynamic place that it is. The strong growth we are seeing in subway ridership over the month of May demonstrates that as New York City continues to come back, our riders are returning to the subway system, which is the best and most sustainable way to get around the city.” 

Metro North President and Interim Long Island Rail Road President Catherine Rinaldi said, “I am thrilled to see both Metro-North and LIRR break ridership records again for the second consecutive week. Rail travel is the quickest, easiest, and most sustainable way to get around the New York metropolitan region, and as we head into the summer months, we look forward to welcoming more of our customers back aboard.” 

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer said, “These pandemic-era records prove that riders are responding to our new fare programs by returning to mass transit. I am especially pleased to see record numbers of our customers using OMNY on the subway as we continue to encourage riders to take advantage of the “Lucky 13” fare capping pilot and tap away.” 

The Authority continues to offer riders new and exciting fare promotions as it brings riders back to transit. To encourage commuter railroad customers to return, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road introduced discount fare packages including the debut of a new 20-trip ticket to reflect hybrid work schedules. The 20-trip offers riders 20 percent off comparable 20-peak one-way fares when purchased through MTA eTix or at a ticket window and are valid for 60 days. On February 28, the Authority launched a fare-capping pilot through its contactless fare payment system OMNY that put a cap on weekly subway and bus fares. The fare-capping pilot includes a “Lucky 13” feature where, starting with the 13th ride of each week, every additional ride on subways or buses is free for the rest of that week. 

In addition, this week New York City Transit will celebrate Notorious B.I.G’s 50th birthday with 50,000 limited edition commemorative MetroCards available at four Brooklyn subway stations. MetroCards featuring a portrait of Notorious B.I.G on the reverse side will be available for purchase starting 12:01am on Saturday, May 21, on a first come, first serve basis. Cards will solely be available at the vending machines that accept all forms of payment, including credit, debit and cash at the following stations in Central Brooklyn: Lafayette Av , Clinton-Washington Av   , Clinton-Washington Av , and Atlantic Av – Barclays Ctr