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MTA Announces New York City Subway Set Single-Day Ridership Record

New York City Transit
Updated May 18, 2023 1:00 p.m.

Subways Recorded 4.09 Million Paid Rides on Wednesday, May 17Fifth Time Since April 20, 2023 Subway Ridership Surpassed 4 Million Riders 

Subway OMNY Taps Reach 1.8 Million Taps in Single Day for First Time, Setting Single-Day Record on Consecutive Days  

LIRR and Metro-North Carry Over 200,000 Riders on May 17, Carrying a Combined 430,000 Riders 


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that the New York City Subway set a pandemic-era ridership record on Wednesday, May 17, with 4,090,247 paid rides. This marks the fifth time subways have carried more than 4 million riders on a single day since April 20, 2023. Prior to hitting 4 million riders on April 20, the last time at least 4 million people rode the subway was March 12, 2020. 

The ridership record on subways was fueled by OMNY usage. OMNY, the Authority's contactless fare payment system, hit 1.8 million taps on a single day for the first time, accounting for 44.2 percent of paid rides—the highest market share of subway rides to date. The 1.8 million milestone beats the previous record set a day before, Tuesday, May 16, when OMNY recorded 1.74 subway taps. 

“Subway ridership records and OMNY records seem to be one and the same these days. I must give a shout-out to the station agents throughout the subway system who are doing a phenomenal job promoting OMNY to customers,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “Whether it is the ease of OMNY, the warm weather or someone’s love for the subway, it is clear people are returning to the system in large numbers. New York City Transit will look to keep that momentum humming with faster, cleaner and safer service on the way to more milestones.” 

The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-North Railroad continued their ridership surge on Wednesday, May 17, as well, each carrying more than 200,000 riders. For the LIRR, this marks the 33rd time since full service at Grand Central Madison began on February 27 that the railroad has carried at least 200,000 riders. 

Metro-North set a pandemic-era record on Tuesday, May 16, with 207,484 riders. On Wednesday, Metro-North once again surpassed 200,000 riders with approximately 206,630, the highest Wednesday ridership the railroad has recorded since the pandemic. It also marks the fifth time in the last seven weekdays that Metro-North has recorded over 200,000 riders. Metro-North has now set individual records for a Monday, a Tuesday, a Wednesday and for a total high, which was Tuesday. The average of the three days is 199,674, which is 1.7% higher than the previous Monday through Wednesday record set last week at 196,424.