Subway ridership has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels in New York City’s working-class neighborhoods. During the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s monthly board meeting on Wednesday, MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said in most working-class neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs, subway ridership has climbed back up to 70, 80, and for some, 90 percent of pre-pandemic ridership levels. But in the city’s major business districts, subway ridership remains way below pre-Covid-19 levels.
New Yorkers may seem to need no encouragement to visit the city’s bounty of local restaurants, but independent eateries could use a boost after Covid restrictions kept everyone at home. DineAWAY is a joint effort by the MTA and the James Beard Foundation to get residents and visitors to explore New York City’s local restaurants and neighborhoods via subways, buses, and commuter rails. DineAWAY sweepstakes offer fabulous foodie prizes like dinner at favorite restaurants and VIP tickets to food festivals.
All photos courtesy of MTA/Trent Reeves, unless otherwise noted
Two new mosaics by the artist Nick Cave were unveiled in Times Square on Monday, completing a permanent artwork and marking the largest mosaic project in New York City’s subway system. Commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s public art program, the artwork, titled “Each One, Every One, Equal All,” features Cave’s wearable sculpture works “Soundsuits” translated into 4,600 square feet of colorful mosaic. The new artwork is part of a larger revamp of the 42nd Street station, including a new entrance and upgraded mezzanine level.
Ridership on the New York City subway reached a new pandemic-era milestone last week, the Metropolitan Transporation Authority announced. On Thursday, 3,497,122 riders swiped into the system, surpassing the last record set during the pandemic in December 2021. While the new record is a positive sign for the city’s recovery, Thursday’s ridership is still well below the 2019 weekday average of 5.5 million straphangers.
Queens’ 34th Avenue was recognized as one of the best Open Streets last year; Courtesy of Alfresco NYC
More than 300 blocks will be closed to cars for pedestrian use as part of the city’s 2022 Open Streets program, the Department of Transportation announced last week. This year’s program–considered the largest of its kind in the country–has expanded to include 21 new locations, with a total of 156 locations throughout the five boroughs. All of the open streets will be active by the summer of 2022.
Photo by Wikimediaon
While getting to LaGuardia Airport via mass transit won’t get easier any time soon, at least it won’t cost anything for some travelers. During a Metropolitan Transportation Authority board meeting on Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the Q70 bus, known as the LaGuardia Link, will be free year-round to travelers starting May 1.
City officials are continuing their efforts to ensure the safety of New Yorkers traveling the streets. Mayor Eric Adams on Saturday announced a historic $904 million investment to help fund the NYC Streets Plan and address the city’s traffic violence problem by creating a safer and more environmentally friendly transportation infrastructure. Over the next five years, the investment will be used to expand bike lanes and bus lanes throughout the city and will be put towards the creation of new pedestrian spaces.
New York City officials announced plans to allocate millions of dollars to better clean city streets and bike lanes. Mayor Eric Adams and just-appointed Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch on Monday announced an $11 million investment for new street cleaning initiatives and better mobility for the sanitation department. Under the initiative, alternate-side parking will return in full force starting July 5. New Yorkers will have to move their cars twice per week, up from once a week during the pandemic, to clear the way for street sweepers and avoid getting a parking ticket.
While mask mandates are being lifted in public transit systems around the country, New Yorkers should expect to wait a little longer to ride the subway unmasked. According to a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the agency will require masks to be worn throughout the subway, bus, Metro-North, and Long Island Rail Road systems, despite a recent ruling from a federal judge striking down the national mask mandate for airplanes, trains, buses, and other forms of mass transit.
Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr
Mayor Eric Adams said he will double the number of police officers patrolling the transit system after a mass shooting at a subway station in Sunset Park left over two dozen people injured. Police on Wednesday identified 62-year-old Frank James as the suspect; they believe James detonated a smoke device and began shooting on an N train during rush hour Tuesday morning. The additional deployment comes after Adams deployed 1,000 additional officers earlier this year because of a recent uptick in crime on the subway.