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NYC Subway surge continues as another daily pandemic ridership record falls

The MTA reported Monday that subway ridership hit another pandemic high on April 23, 2021, with customers making more than 2.1 million trips that day.
Photo by Dean Moses

More than 2.1 million subway trips occurred in the New York City Transit system on Friday, April 23 — a new record high during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the MTA announced Monday.

Weekday ridership has consistently hovered at or above the 2 million mark since April 9 of this year, but Friday marked the first day that figure exceeded 2.1 million. Approximately 2,119,655 trips were recorded throughout the subway system. 

That figure is far higher than the ridership abyss which the MTA witnessed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic between March and April 2020, when the system saw ridership plunge by more than 90% as businesses closed and New Yorkers stayed home. 

On top of that, the MTA reported, the city’s buses had 1,146,881 trips across the five boroughs, and another 3,729 trips on the Staten Island Railway, on April 23. Combined with the subway trips, approximately 3,270,265 transit rides occurred across the city Friday.

For interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg, the increase in ridership goes “hand-in-hand” with the city’s ongoing economic recovery.

“The return of ridership is continued good news as the City continues its rebound from the pandemic. We look forward to more milestones ahead continuing to serve New York,” Feinberg said.

The MTA says it is continuing to do all it can to keep the system safe for customers, including ongoing cleaning and disinfection, as well as mandating mask usage. The authority reports that more than 98% of customers are wearing masks on board subways and buses. 

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