MTA Metro-North Railroad in New York City this week reported a record-breaking rise in ridership to 86.1 million customers in 2015, 1.6 percent more than 2014.
“When ridership set records back in 2008, many said it was because of high gasoline prices, and that certainly is one factor,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said. “But gas prices have sunk to low levels, and the trend is continuing. We are seeing the confluence of a strengthening regional economy, healthier downtowns around the region, a new generation of millennials who value public transportation, and greater productivity on board our trains through the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and laptops. Customers are also responding to improvements we have made, including more frequent trains, improving on-time performance, a fleet of modern new electric cars, expanding availability of real-time information and more channels for customer communication.”
Experts estimate that the ridership will continue to increase in coming years, thanks to recent investments in MTA's 2015-19 Capital Program.
“We spent 2015 working hard to improve Metro-North’s safety record, to restore confidence in Metro-North’s safety culture and to rebuild our tracks,” Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti said. “We’re delighted to see the increase in ridership because we think it indicates that our attention to safety and improved reliability are encouraging more customers to ride the train.”