In the wake of last week’s horrific incident at the 36th St station in Sunset Park, New Yorkers have proven once again that the City’s indomitable spirit cannot be broken. From the incredible Good Samaritans who cared for victims’ injuries on the scene, to the quick-thinking bystander who spotted the suspect on the street, ultimately leading to his arrest – regular New Yorkers were heroes in this story, in addition to our partners at the NYPD.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also acknowledge the bravery of our train crews who shuttled people to safety in the immediate aftermath of the attack, and the dedication shown by bus operators and other Transit employees in helping customers to navigate the ensuing service changes. In this time of crisis, they were a calm, reassuring presence. Their hard work has time and again kept the system running through challenging days, whether due to a snow storm, disabled train, or a violent act like what happened last week. Our Transit workers move New York through it all.
I’m proud to say that millions of New Yorkers continue to ride the subway, with overall subway ridership increasing by 2 percent the day after the attack to 3.15 million riders. And in Brooklyn specifically, it climbed by 7.2 percent. This quick rebound follows the subway’s strongest week of 2022 so far; 28.8 million rides were provided between Monday, April 4, and Sunday, April 10.
We’re thrilled to see that OMNY use has increased in tandem with ridership, recording one million taps in the subways alone on April 8 – the first time we’ve hit that milestone on one mode in a single day. The new fare payment system now accounts for approximately one third of the market share, a notable increase from just a few weeks ago. It was no doubt helped by the introduction of fare capping, which lets customers ride for free after their 12th trip in a one-week period.
At the end of a difficult week, these signs of recovery give us hope that New York can bounce back from this horrific incident, just as we’ve from COVID and every crisis that’s come before.
Craig Cipriano is interim MTA New York City Transit president.