Subway Ridership Rebounding After NYC COVID Surge Kept Commuters At Home

Photo: AFP

Public transit ridership in New York City is on the uptick after the January Omicron variant surge kept wary commuters at home or using private modes of transportation.

The MTA reports that subway ridership topped 3 million for three days in a row last week, the first time since the Omicron wave hit the region in mid-December.

The figure is a far cry from typical pre-COVID ridership of about 5.5 million per day, but it is an encouraging sign of recovery as spring nears.

COVID has dealt a blow to public transit. The MTA expects ridership to continue to lag over the next two years, producing an operating deficit of as much as $1.4 billion.

The MTA recently introduced fare discounts to try to entice more riders. One program gives users a contactless payment system to get free rides on subways or buses after they reach 12 rides in a single week.

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