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Finally, proof that public transport is crowded for a reason: The MTA says that ridership has grown 36% in the past ten years. From amNew York:

Trips on New York City Transit subway trains and buses have grown 36 percent, from 1.6 billion in 1995 to 2.2 billion in 2005. Meanwhile, the population of the city grew 7 percent from 7.6 million to 8.2 million.

Likewise, regular commuter rail trips jumped 14 percent to 155 million between 1995 and 2005, while the suburban population grew just 6 percent.


"There's no question that people in the New York region respond to positive change," MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow said. "And commuters have overwhelmingly responded to MetroCard discounts, new trains and buses, cleaner stations, reduced crime, and better on-time performance."

Well, better on-time performance when trains actually come to stations. Kalikow doesn't speak for Queens or Brooklyn residents who get regularly screwed over by various service issues. The Permanent Citizens Advisory says that the free transfers between trains and buses led to the surge in ridership, while the Straphangers Campaign warned, "New York City Transit should abandon plans to reduce off peak service on 10 of 22 lines starting in June 2007 if it hopes to accommodate further increases in ridership." And we hope that the state will support the MTA more, too.

And those wacky subway enthusiasts Matt Green and Don Badaczewski broke the record for riding around the whole subway system: Their time was 24 hours and 2 minutes (the 1998 record was 25 hours and 11 minutes). The Post, ever the spoilsport, questions whether it's really a true record, since they did not stop at every station (which is what the Guiness rules are). Here's some video from WCBS.