Confirming what we know (especially when there are signal problems or train issues), more people than ever are riding the subways. The MTA's CEO has described the increase in subway ridership "relentless," and to prove it the authority has announced that straphangers helped break the single day ridership record last month: 6,217,621 people squeezed into the subway on October 29th.
Here's the MTA's press release:
The new modern ridership record was set on the last Thursday in October, traditionally one of the system’s busiest days. The previous record of 6,167,165 was set Thursday, October 30, 2014. The new record day was one of five days in October when ridership exceeded the prior year’s record, and was one of 15 weekdays with ridership above 6 million. Daily subway ridership records have been kept since 1985, but the new record is believed to be the highest since the late 1940s.
October 2015’s average weekday subway ridership of 5.974 million was the highest of any month in over 45 years, and was 1.4% higher than October 2014. Approximately 80,000 more customers rode the subway on an average October 2015 weekday than just a year earlier - enough to fill more than 50 fully-loaded subway trains.
Ridership surged on the weekends as well, with the average weekend ridership higher than any October in over 45 years. On Saturday, October 31, 2015, the day of the Village Halloween Parade and a Mets World Series game, 3,730,881 customers rode the subway - making it the fifth-busiest Saturday on recent record.
Ridership continues to spike in Northern Brooklyn, where portions of the ACGJMZ and L lines have added a weekday average of 14,733 customers since September 2014. The system has seen substantial growth south of Chambers St in Lower Manhattan, with more than new 12,357 daily customers added in the last year as new commercial and office continues to open in the area.
One fun factoid the MTA shared is that over 440,000 daily passengers were added to the subway system between 2010-2014, "roughly the equivalent of the entire population of mid-sized cities like Miami, Fla. or Raleigh, N.C."
Of course, the MTA also wants everyone to accept that more customers "have led to additional crowding on some lines, creating conditions in which trains are more likely to be delayed, and delayed trains in turn affect more customers than in the past."
In other words, even though there are other ways the MTA is trying to ease crowding (Platform Controllers to move customers on and off the train quickly; adding more modern signaling) we're all urban sardines:
The MTA says that when the first part of the Second Avenue Subway—from 63rd to 96th Streets—is complete, it'll "serve more than 200,000 customers each day and decrease crowding on the adjacent 4/5/6 lines by as much as 13%, or 23,500 fewer customers on an average weekday." Godspeed!