According to a recently released report, MTA's fares have risen by 29% since 2007—twice the rate of inflation. Without further actions, "the cost of a monthly unlimited-ride card would go from $112 to approximately $116.50 in 2015" predcits the New York Daily News.

Constrast to the constantly growing subway tickets prices, the New Yorkers should expect to see MTA's better performance—the on-going delays and reguarly planned service changes over the weekends sure are not the things riders should experience anymore.


The MTA broke its all-time daily ridership record on October 24, when 5,985,311 people rode the subway. Gene Russianoff, staff attorney with the Straphangers Campaign, says the last time ridership was this high was in the post-war 1950s. As more people swarm into the underground system, does it mean a more crowded platform with waiting passengers?

The healthy circulating of the network is crucial for the growing number of riders. According to MTA, the Times Square-42 Street Station was their busiest line in 2012 with an annual ridership of more than 62 million. Big stations take more pressure from the influx of the New Yorkers who try to communte between home and work, or connect from one line to another.

Monthly Ridership* (hover over for details)

*NOTES: Most recent available data; Subway ridership consists of all passengers (other than NYC Transit employees) who enter the subway system, including passengers who transfer from buses. Ridership does not include passengers who exit the subway or passengers who transfer from other subway lines, with the exception of out-of-system transfers.

As one of the oldest underground transportation systems, does New York subway have the capacity of the fast-growing riders?


The busiest rapid transit rail system in the United States and in the Americas, the New York City Subway is also one of world's oldest underground public transit systems. To increase its capacity for the climbing number of passengers, the subway network needs repairs and improvements. A lot.

Because we operate service 24/7, and because we must still make repairs and improvements, we sometimes have to reroute trains, buses, or traffic. The information in these links will explain the diversions and your alternatives.

To ensure reliable service, building for the future, and creating economic growth in New York State.

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The MTA subway wait assessment is defined as "the percent of actual intervals between trains that are no more than the scheduled interval plus 25%".

This usually happens during rush (peak) hours when the subway is busiest and trains run more frequently. If a train doesn’t proceed it can affect the schedule, backing up trains behind it and slowing service all along the line.

During off-peak hours, when the subway is less crowded, conductors can hold trains that enter the same station at the same time, and passengers can transfer across the platform. Subway personnel can do this as long as both trains are on schedule and waiting will not disrupt either train’s schedule.

Click the button for details in the chart

NOTES: J and Z lines share the same dataset;
The percent of trains making all the scheduled station stops arriving at the destination terminal on-time, early or no more than five minutes late. Trains re-routed, abandoned or operating under temporary schedule changes are all counted as late.


Other than reduced fares, features, such as elevators or ramps, that improve accessibility are for customers with visual, hearing, and mobility, as well as stroller-pushers, obviously have bigger implication.

Since the early 1990s, New York City Transit has spent massive amounts of money on installing new elevators and escalators. According to MTA's website, currently the network "has more than 120 additional subway and commuter rail stations that have elevators and/or ramps to provide wheelchair access.". Yet the service remains unsatisfying.

From the original 28 stations built in Manhattan, the subway system has grown to 468 stations, most of which were built by 1930. Within the less-than 1/3 stations equiped with elevators or escalators, dysfuntion is not uncommon.

Another factor: MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg says the changing economy is playing a role in the increased riders. "You have more people who are working in health care, working in hospitality, working in tech," he said, "jobs that don't require you to be at a desk at 9 and get up and leave at 5."

Gene Russianoff, staff attorney with the Straphangers Campaign, says the last time ridership was this high was in the post-war 1950s.

" The city had three shifts for a lot of its workers and people often worked a six-day work week," he said, "so it was incredibly central to the city's economy."

SOURCES: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority; New York Department of City Planning; The New York Times; The New Yorker; The Wall Street Journal.