MTA Railroads Combine to Carry Nearly 375,000 Customers on Tuesday
Records Set Two Days After Railroads’ Surpass Pre-Pandemic Weekend Ridership Baselines
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad set pandemic-era ridership records on Tuesday, June 28. The LIRR carried 199,956 riders (69% of pre-pandemic weekday ridership), surpassing the previous pandemic-era record of 192,593 set on June 15. The same day, Metro-North carried 174,878 riders (67% of pre-pandemic weekday ridership), surpassing its previous record of 174,340 set on June 14.
The records were set two weeks after the railroads set their previous weekday records and two days after their weekend ridership surpassed pre-pandemic levels. On Sunday, June 26, when Metro-North carried 99,100 riders, it not only surpassed pre-pandemic weekend ridership for the first time, it surged past that record by carrying 123% of its pre-pandemic baseline. The percentage is the highest comparative figure achieved by any MTA agency since the start of the pandemic.
Also on Sunday, June 26, the LIRR carried more than its pre-pandemic baseline for the second time, carrying 102,452 customers or 110% of the pre-pandemic levels, and the highest LIRR Sunday ridership of the year. This past weekend’s combined 208,452 riders marked the highest weekend ridership this year.
“The numbers underscore what we are seeing every day -- more and more people are returning to the train both on weekdays and on weekends,” said Metro-North President and LIRR Interim President Catherine Rinaldi. “The MTA railroads have always been about more than traditional 9-to-5 commuting, and with fare discount packages and frequent service, it is clear leisure travel has been a big draw in bringing back riders. Whether they are heading to the beach, going for a hike, or visiting friends and family, our customers are taking the railroad to get to where they need to go.”
The weekday and weekend ridership records reflect an overall increase for both railroads. Metro-North weekend ridership in June has been at least 94% of its pre-pandemic baseline. On Saturday June 11, the day of the Belmont Stakes, the LIRR became the first MTA public transportation agency to surpass its baseline pre-pandemic levels. That day, the railroad carried approximately 117,900 riders, 105% of its pre-pandemic baseline.
The MTA continues to encourage riders to return to the rails with fare discounts. On March 1, both LIRR and Metro-North rolled out fare offerings including a 10 percent discount for monthly passes, a new 20-trip ticket that saves 20% on regular peak one-way fares, and City Ticket, which offers a reduced, flat fare of $5.00 for rail travel within New York City on weekends, was extended to include all weekday off-peak trains.