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ICYMI: Governor Hochul Announces Record Ridership on MTA Commuter Railroads

Updated May 15, 2024 6:30 p.m.

 LIRR Carried Over 260,000 Riders on Tuesday, May 14, Setting Single-Day Record Since Pandemic; Coincides With Record Day for Grand Central Madison With 41 Percent of Manhattan-Bound Riders Traveling to East Side Terminal  

Metro-North Recorded Best Monday Post-Pandemic on May 13, With Over 209,000 Riders Following Best Week Since Pandemic

Ridership Records Come in Midst of Historic On-Time Performance Streak by Both Railroads   

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced record ridership on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority commuter railroads, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad. The LIRR carried 260,745 riders on Tuesday, May 14, the highest ridership for a single weekday since the pandemic. The ridership record coincided with a Grand Central Madison record – 41 percent of riders traveled to Grand Central Madison on Tuesday, the highest split with Penn Station since the terminal opened for full service last February.   
“This record-breaking ridership showcases that New York is back and better than ever,” Governor Hochul said. “Thanks to our nation-leading investments, commuters and residents are now experiencing safe and reliable transportation, and I am proud to see New Yorkers continuing to come back to the system.”  
The LIRR record comes just one day after Metro-North Railroad had its best Monday since the pandemic, carrying 209,795 riders. Combined with Tuesday, Metro-North has carried nearly half a million riders through the first two days of the week. This record comes following strong ridership last week, with an average of 212,466 riders each day, the best weekday average since the pandemic. The average ridership for Tuesday through Thursday of that week was 222,244 riders, also a post-pandemic record.   
MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “MTA commuter rail service has never been stronger. LIRR ridership keeps climbing, especially the number of commuters using Grand Central Madison. LIRR ridership inside the city – especially from historically disadvantaged neighborhoods – is up 28 percent, and Metro-North on-time performance has been nearly perfect this year – 99 percent! We still have capacity to accommodate even more riders, who now know taking the LIRR and Metro-North will get them to and from the city faster than ever.”  
Long Island Rail Road President Rob Free said, “Tuesday’s record high ridership is a vote of confidence from our customers, who realize we are delivering safe, reliable, and convenient service. Our on-time performance year-to-date is at 96 percent while providing the most service we ever have, which is a direct result of our incredible workforce and the investments we have made such as Grand Central Madison, Main Line Third Track and Ronkonkoma Double Track.”  
Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi said, “Service has never been better for Metro-North customers. Through the first quarter of the year, on-time performance has been the highest in the railroad’s history, and our commitment to safety has not wavered. These records are a testament to the entire Metro-North team, and I am proud of the excellent work that they have done to get us here.”   
Through the first three months of 2024 the LIRR and Metro-North have each celebrated strong on-time performance and ridership, with each carrying approximately 1.4 million riders last week. Building off a strong 2023 in which both LIRR and Metro-North saw non-commutation surpass 2019 levels, both railroads are currently carrying an average of 200,000 riders.   
For four consecutive months, the LIRR’s systemwide on-time performance has exceeded 94 percent. On weekdays, the LIRR has consistently carried more than 200,000 riders since the opening of Grand Central Madison, with a current weekday average of at least 230,000 riders.   
Metro-North's record week, for the week of May 6, is the first time since the pandemic the railroad has averaged over 200,000 riders for a week, surpassing that total six of the last seven weekdays. The ridership highs come in the midst of record on-time performance. In addition to its historic on-time performance of 98.8 percent in 2024, Metro-North's on-time performance has been at least 97 percent the last four years.