Growth and the Subway

The Story

New York City is bursting at the seams, with its population at record highs. With employment and tourism also breaking records, it’s no wonder that the subway is feeling the strain. The city’s amazing resurgence over the past 30 years has been enabled in part by its transit infrastructure, which allows workers living in the outer boroughs to get to and from jobs in Manhattan’s central business districts easily. But to maintain its prosperity, New York must maintain–and expand — its network of subways, buses, and ferries.  

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Doubled: Subway ridership has doubled since 1977, to almost 1.8 billion annually. Read more.

  2. Work: Growth in the city’s workforce, especially from the Bronx and Brooklyn, has been a primary driver of increased subway ridership. Read more.

  3. Costs: The soaring costs of debt service, health care, and pensions have eaten up a growing share of the MTA’s operating expenses. Read more.

“Manhattan’s 19th-century street grid was not designed for 62 million tourists and 8.4 million residents. That is why we depend on our 100-year-old subway more than ever.”

Mitchell Moss, director of the Rudin Center for Transportation at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

To Cleanse the MTA By Nicole Gelinas New York Post (November 11, 2009)

“New MTA chief Jay Walder wants to improve the state-run authority’s non existent credibility. The way to start should be to launch a full-on, public investigation of the MTA’s strange relations with the Transport Workers Union and its political allies during last year’s contract negotiations.”

And in other news...

“The city saw 147 murders through the end of June, an increase of 11 from the 136 notched to the same point in 2017.”