When the Second Avenue Subway opened on the first of the year, it changed the lives of many commuters, namely those living in Yorkville on the Upper East Side who had long walks to the 4/5/6 trains and then faced their notoriously tight cars and frequent delays. But those New Yorkers who still rely on the Lexington Avenue line have also gotten some relief: According to a New York Times analysis of MTA data, on an average January weekday, ridership fell by about 11 percent, or 88,000 trips, between 110th Street and Grand Central, undoubtedly a direct effect of the Second Avenue line’s average ridership of 140,000.
The city predicted the Second Avenue Subway would accommodate 200,000 daily riders, and though the current average is slightly less than that, the fact that it grew from 83,000 in its first week to 155,000 last Friday is a sure sign of its upward trajectory. This is especially good news considering the system now has about 1.7 billion annual riders, the highest since 1948, with the Lexington Avenue line coming in as the most crowded. In fact, according to the MTA’s 2015 data, the 6 line had the worst service, only meeting standards 58 percent of the time, followed by the 4 at 60 percent and the 5 at 61 percent.
But as the Times explains, the ease on overcrowding has been felt the most at the Lexington Avenue line’s 86th Street stop, which has both local and express trains. In January 2016, this station saw an average of 132,000 daily rides, but last month it fell 24 percent to 95,000. In terms of the Second Avenue line, the new 72nd Street station (which likely drew riders away from the 6 station at 77th Street and Lexington Avenue) has been its busiest, with roughly 44,000 riders on the average weekday.
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