MTA passenger railroads busiest in the U.S.
The LIRR reported a year-end total of 85.86 million passengers last year, and Metro-North carried 84.66 million passengers.
Both railroads saw their most passenger growth during non-rush hours, on non-Manhattan commutes and for non-work trips, as customers increasingly rely on the railroads for transportation.
“In another era, young people would buy a car with their first paycheck," MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said. "Now, with access to the nation’s most vibrant public transit system, more of them are buying train passes and MetroCards. Across our region, New Yorkers are developing a mindset that riding the railroad isn’t just about going to work anymore. It’s becoming more and more integrated into the fabric of daily life. That’s why we’re pleased to be continuing projects in our capital program that will improve rail travel in the years to come, including East Side Access for the LIRR, Penn Station Access for Metro-North and the LIRR’s Ronkonkoma Branch Double Track Project.”
The high ridership in 2014 took place in spite of harsh winter storms that reduced travel volumes on both railroads in January and February.