Subway ridership hits highest single-day total since beginning of pandemic

Commuters ride the New York City Subway on November 5, 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic continues worldwide. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP)

As coronavirus numbers continue to decline and more and more people get vaccinated, New Yorkers are once again riding the city's subways in larger and larger numbers. The MTA said that more subway trips were recorded Thursday than on any other single day since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The 1,863,962 paid trips on Thursday surpassed the previous post-pandemic high of 1,857-822 trips on October 15, with an additional 1.13 million daily trips recorded on MTA/NYCT buses, bringing the total number of daily trips systemwide to just under 3 million for the day.

"We are thrilled to see so many New Yorkers returning to the system after the most challenging year in New York City Transit history," said Interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg. "Make no mistake: we still have a long way to go, but the progress we've made in bringing riders back is significant. We will continue to do everything in our power to get New Yorkers to vaccination sites and we are hopeful that more and more of our customers will return to the system in the weeks and months to come."

The ridership numbers are still just a fraction of the pre-pandemic daily ridership numbers, which regularly exceeded 5 million rides per day.

"That figure fell by more than 90 percent to a low of roughly 300,000 daily trips last April as the number of COVID-19 cases reached their apex in the New York City area," the MTA said in a statement. "Daily bus trips at that time were down close to 75 percent from pre-pandemic figures and fell to approximately 600,000. Despite the immense reduction in daily ridership, New York City Transit workers continued to provide service for the frontline healthcare professionals and other essential workers who needed to get to work during some of the bleakest days in New York City history."

The recently-passed federal stimulus package is expecting to bring roughly $6B in funding for the MTA.

Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. Download for FREE!