The 7-train will be getting the biggest boost in service this spring, photo via Wikimedia
In an attempt to increase subway ridership, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority next spring will add trains to six lines: the 2, 3, 7, N, W, and Q trains. The boost in service comes after data released by the MTA revealed that riders are opting for alternative transportation, like Uber, Lyft or Citibike, instead of dealing with the often delayed and disrupted subways and buses. According to amNY, the additional trains, which will cost the MTA $5 million annually, will run on nights and weekends, times when the authority believes demand is not being effectively met.
The 7-train, which runs between Flushing and Hudson Yards, is getting the most significant improvement in service. There will be four new round-trip trains on Saturdays between 6 and 8 p.m., with eight more added on Sundays between 4 and 8 p.m. There will be two extra 2-train trips on weeknights between 9 and 11 p.m., one more weeknight 3-train trip and additional trains for the N, W, and Q lines for weekday and night hours.
Despite the city’s steady growth in population and employment, subway ridership is declining. Data presented to the MTA board Monday showed an average weekday subway ridership dropped 1.8 percent from last September. In the past 12 months, there were roughly on average 5.6 million trips taken each day, 80,000 fewer trips than the same 12-month period in the previous year.
Even fewer people are riding the bus, with 238,345 fewer trips every day this year from 2.1 million taken in 2013. Mayor Bill de Blasio recently addressed this issue by announcing a plan to expand Select Bus Service (SBS), by upgrading more than 21 new routes and making buses run faster on non-SBS routes.
Advocates say the drop in ridership is a result of unreliable bus and subway service. John Raskin, executive director of Riders Alliance, told amNY: “I think the ridership data is just another point of evidence that we have a transit system in crisis,” he said. “Task number one for Gov. Cuomo in the new year should be reversing the decline of New York City’s transit system so that the system is good enough to attract riders back.”
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