Subway, bus ridership nearly reaches 3 million on Tuesday, a day after setting pandemic record

A subway conductor wears a protective face mask during the COVID-19 outbreak.
REUTERS/Mike Segar

That didn’t take too long.

Twenty-four hours after establishing a new pandemic ridership record, MTA New York City Transit subways and the Staten Island Railway smashed the high-mark of 2.7 million commuters, getting 2.9 million riders on Sept. 14. Do the math, and that translates to a one-day growth of 200,000 people.

The record-setting subway performances came on the first two days of the new school year, which marked the return of all New York City public school children into classrooms for the first time since March 13, 2020. Municipal workers were also welcomed back to their offices on Sept. 13, and several major Broadway shows reopened on Sept. 14 following an extended pandemic hiatus.

Still far off from the pre-pandemic daily ridership high of more than 5.5 million, MTA officials nonetheless celebrated the achievement Wednesday as a sure sign of continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“This is amazing news,” said acting MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber. “New Yorkers are resuming all sorts of normal activities. They’re going to restaurants, they’re going to ballgames, they’re returning to school. And they trust the MTA to get them where they’re going.”

“We’ve seen four straight weekday ridership records on New York City Transit and I’m hopeful we can surpass the Yankees recent win streak of 13,” added acting New York City Transit President Craig Cipriano. “We will continue to work tirelessly to make sure New Yorkers and visitors to the city return to mass transit.”