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MTA Launches Systemwide Program to Celebrate ‘Comeback Heroes’ as New York’s Reopening Continues and Ridership Rises

MTA
Updated April 16, 2021 10:30 p.m.
MTA New York City Transit officials celebrated the inaugural honorees of the MTA’s new systemwide ‘Comeback Heroes’ program

Owners of ‘Speakeasy’ Connected to 28 St   Subway Station Selected as First Honorees  

 

Program Launched on Heels of 2-Million-Rider Milestone Hit by Subway System 

 

View Photos of Today’s Ceremony at La Noxe in Chelsea   

  

MTA New York City Transit officials celebrated the inaugural honorees of the MTA’s new systemwide ‘Comeback Heroes’ program in Manhattan today. Interim President Sarah Feinberg and Executive Vice President of Subways Demetrius Crichlow presented a certificate of recognition to Jey Perie, who co-owns a bar in Chelsea called La Noxe with his wife Mariko Gale-Perie. 

The owners of La Noxe were chosen for this honor because of the exciting buzz and positive attention their unique business has brought to the subway system, inspiring New Yorkers to take the train to the destination. The bar, which received its liquor license on the same day shelter-in-place orders were announced for New York City last year, is located at the bottom of the first flight of stairs at the southeast corner of the 28 St   station and reports to have more than a thousand people on its waiting list.  It occupies space in a private building and uses an easement for direct access to the unpaid side of the subway station.  

“We’re proud to honor bold and creative New Yorkers like Jey and Mariko during this critical moment for the City,” said Sarah Feinberg, Interim President of New York City Transit. “That a destination bar like La Noxe can thrive in a stairwell to a subway station proves that the transit system remains vital as ever to the fabric of New York – and that we’ll be the engine that powers our economic recovery.”  

“Jey and Mariko have created a truly unique space that speaks to the vibrant life that New York City breeds,” said Demetrius Crichlow, Executive Vice President of Subways.” Easy access to establishments like this give New Yorkers reason to return to the subways. We look forward to honoring additional ‘Comeback Heroes’ as we welcome more and more customers back to the system.”  

“Thank you to New York City Transit for this special honor,” said Jey Perie and Mariko Gale-Perie, owners of La Noxe. “When we first opened a year ago, we knew we were on to something. The reason why New York is the greatest city in America and probably the world is because of the subway system. At all times you can be wherever you want to go for the price of a ride. That's so important for nightlife and youth culture in general.”  

The MTA will honor additional ‘Comeback Heroes’ from neighborhoods throughout its regional rail and bus network in the weeks ahead for creating unique spaces that help a resurgent New York City and State and provide another reason for riders to return to the MTA system.   

The subway system recently surpassed a ridership milestone on April 8, serving more than 2 million customers for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ridership on buses also reflects a revitalized city, with NYC Transit and MTA Bus Company regularly providing more than 1 million trips per day.  

Prior to the pandemic, average weekday ridership totals routinely exceeded 5.5 million in the subway system and more than 2 million on buses. That figure fell by more than 90 percent to a low of roughly 300,000 daily trips on the subways 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.