In 2015, weekday ridership on the New York City subway was at its highest since 1948. Since then, the number of straphangers passing through the turnstiles has slowly declined. In 2016, the system saw its first annual drop in ridership since 2009, and new data released by the MTA shows that the downward trend isn’t stopping.
The average weekday ridership on the subway this past September was 7.7 million, according to numbers presented at a MTA Board meeting on Wednesday. That marks a 3.1 percent drop from September 2016 and is the seventh month of 2017 where the subway saw a drop in net riders from a year prior.
This decline ought to come as no surprise to those who rely on the system every day. Crippling delays and long wait times have left the MTA sprinting to make key repairs that will improve service, but in the meantime, riders are ditching the underground for alternative transportation methods like ride-sharing and bicycles.
What’s more, New York City Transit is facing a $2.14 billion net cash deficit, largely due to higher overtime expenditures and “the unfavorable timing of capital reimbursements,” according to a report from the MTA.
The MTA did announce on Wednesday that it is taking steps toward improving service on some lines. The authority is planning on deploying additional trains on the 2, 3, 7, N, W and Q lines during peak periods and nights, which ought to serve as a temporary remedy for many riders’ transit woes.
Service might be less than ideal, but hey, at least LeBron James is all giddy about New York’s transit system.