MTA ridership still 40% below pre-pandemic levels: Report

Commuters are slowly coming back to New York City’s public transportation, but not fast enough to help the MTA meet its budget shortfalls. 

According to a new report released by the Office of the State Comptroller, ridership is back over 60 percent, although it varies

"Now I am back to pretty much regular," said Elizabeth Supan. She was one of many riders who stopped using the MTA during the pandemic. 

The report notes that MTA ridership reached well over 125 million every month before the COVID-19 pandemic. In contrast, in April 2020 it decreased to just under 11.8 million riders.

"The hope was we would see ridership come back more quickly," said Rahul Jain, State Deputy Comptroller for New York City. "One thing that the pandemic led to was a real dent in revenues associated with ridership."

Currently, there are several factors affecting usage, including work patterns, overall safety concerns, and transit realities.

"When people were first coming back and using the subway it felt unsafe and different," said New Yorker Marsha Bernstein. 

The Comptroller’s report outlines safety, reliability, and frequency as key factors in bringing riders back.