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MTA Breaks One-Day Ridership Record in October, Agency Says

By Ben Fractenberg | December 10, 2015 4:19pm
 The MTA had the most single-day ridership ever recorded on Oct. 29, 2015.
The MTA had the most single-day ridership ever recorded on Oct. 29, 2015.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

MIDTOWN — If it seems a little more crowded on the subway of late, that’s because it is.

The MTA had the most commuters on Oct. 29 since ridership record keeping started in the late 1940s, with more than 6.2 million people riding the rails, the agency reported Thursday. That’s 50,000 more people than the previous record set in October 2014.

“The relentless growth in subway ridership shows how this century-old network is critical to New York’s future,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said in a statement. “Our challenge is to maintain and improve the subways even as growing ridership puts more demands on the system.”

October’s weekly ridership was nearly 6 million, the highest of any month in more than 45 years.

There has been a particular spike in ridership in northern Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.

The system has added 440,638 daily customers between 2010 and 2014.

There are several factors leading to the surge in riders, including a population increase in the city, a healthier economy and more people ditching their cars for public transit, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said.

Transit officials are trying to ease some of the congestion by placing workers at busy locations to help move people on and off trains faster and increasing maintenance crews to respond to train malfunctions or track problems faster.

Longer-term fixes include improving signaling systems and installing the computer-based train control system now used on the L line on other lines, including the 7 and A-C-E in Manhattan.

The Second Avenue Subway is also expected to shuttle more than 200,000 commuters a day, easing ridership on the overcrowded 4-5-6 lines.