Subway ridership hits 2 million for first time since pandemic began

Transit

MIDTOWN, Manhattan — They’re back.

Riders and drivers continue to travel around the city. MTA NYC Transit officials say on Thursday there were 2,009,025 subway swipes. That’s the highest number since March 2020.

Bus ridership also hit another record. More than half the regular bus riders have returned. Subway statistics are still down 65%.

The city of New York reports Manhattan-bound vehicle travel on the East River bridges is 88% of what it was but they’re expected to continue to increase as the weather improves and people get vaccinated.

A date has not yet been announced for the return of 24-hour subway service. The trains are not open to passengers from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. to allow the agency to complete a daily, ongoing cleaning and disinfection regimen.

The Centers for Disease Control this week said the risk of transmission from surfaces was low.

Interim NYC Transit President Sarah Feinberg says they have been in touch constantly with federal health experts.

“It’s not as clear cut as I’d like. We will continue doing what it takes to keep people safe,” she said.

MTA Officials are also on in contact with Washington, D.C. about a plan for congestion pricing. The charge to drive south of 61st street in Manhattan (excluding FDR and Westside Highway) was approved by the stare in 2019.

The price and possible exclusions haven’t been set yet by a committee. Public  hearings are planned.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was asked about it Friday afternoon.

“It’s not an example of something designed in Washington and handed down. There’s a congestion problem there and revenue chance as well,” he said.

Some New Jersey lawmakers held a media briefing by the George Washington Bridge calling for more cooperation and benefit to New Jersey residents.  

On Sunday, drivers who use the MTA’s bridges and tunnels will see a toll increase of about 7%. MTA Board members approved that in February.

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