1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. 23 things we're proud of in 2023

23 things we're proud of in 2023

Looking back at the MTA's major accomplishments of 2023.
Updated December 28, 2023 11:00 a.m.

As we approach the end of another year, we’re looking back and reflecting on some accomplishments—2023 was an eventful year for the MTA! 

We’re endlessly thankful for our staff and our front-line employees for all of their hard work this year. Thanks to the efforts of our police partners, crime is down for the year. And of course, we're thankful to all of you for riding public transit this year. 

Here are 23 things from 2023 that we’re proud of.

A new Long Island Rail Road

We made our most transformative change to LIRR service in over a century: At the beginning of 2023, Grand Central Madison opened, creating a direct connection to Manhattan’s East Side and easier transfers to Metro-North. The new terminal offers increased commuting options, amenities, and artwork.

A balanced budget

An influx of funding from Gov. Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature paved the way for improvements throughout the transit system (more subway service! free bus routes!) and set the MTA up for a more stable financial future

A railroad concourse with two escalators and ceiling lights.
A new, brighter Penn Station.

Penn Station's glow-up

The LIRR Concourse at Penn Station has undergone an amazing transformation in the last few years—now it’s modern, spacious, and bright! Retail and dining options such as Pret a Manger and Playa Bowls are now open, and more will come next year.

A record year for interdictions

MTA Bridges and Tunnels intercepted more than 2,700 vehicles registered to toll violators this year. It's a nearly 50% increase from 2022, showing our commitment to catching traffic scofflaws.

Bringing customer service to you

We made it easier for riders to get help close to home with new Customer Service Centers, which can be found at 14 subway stations around the city. Station agents at these centers and beyond are also available to give directions, help with fare payment, and more. 

A train car with a colorful wrap that says "laser train"
The rebranded laser train debuted in October.

⚡ Laser train ⚡ goes retro

Metro-North debuted a new look for its leaf-obliterating laser train. The train will help prevent slippery rail conditions by zapping away residue, left behind by crushed leaves, from our rails. This will lead to fewer delays while keeping more train cars in service this fall.

Planning the MTA of 2043

We released the 20-Year Needs Assessment, providing a vision of the MTA’s future: one where we will serve more than 8 million daily riders, and consistently deliver safe, reliable, and accessible service for all. 

R211s roll out 

Even more of the latest and greatest subway cars will hit the rails in 2024 (including on Staten Island), but customers got a sneak peek this year when our new R211s—equipped with wider doors, more accessible seating, and better onboard signage—rolled out on the  line. 

Tap and go in more places

This year, it became easier than ever to tap and go: In addition to all subway stations and buses, contactless fare payment is now available on AirTrain JFK and the Roosevelt Island Tramway. We also rolled out OMNY vending machines in some subway stations, with more to come in 2024. 

A fond farewell for MetroCards

Soon, our special-edition MetroCards will go the way of the token. But, in one of its final years, we took our iconic cards to the next level by celebrating KISS, Glossier, NYC Pride, and the 50th anniversary of hip-hop

A vintage train car pulled into a subway station.
A vintage BMT subway car on a nostalgia ride. 

A big year of birthdays 🎂

We celebrated so many milestones in 2023: Metro-North Railroad turned 40, MTA Bridges & Tunnels turned 90, the BMT (part of today’s subway B division) turned 100, Grand Central Terminal turned 110, and the subway itself turned a whopping 119 years old. (That’s a lot of candles.)

An app for art

We teamed up with Bloomberg Connects on a digital guide to the hundreds of artworks throughout the transit system, making it easier than ever to explore one of New York’s best hidden-in-plain-sight art collections. 

United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Gov. Kathy Hochul, and MTA Chair Janno Lieber tour a Second Avenue Subway tunnel in November.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Gov. Kathy Hochul, and MTA Chair Janno Lieber tour a Second Avenue Subway tunnel in November.

Second Avenue Subway sails forward

Thanks to $3.4 billion in federal funding, the second phase of the Second Avenue Subway accelerated this year. The new section, from 96th to 125th streets, will have three new stations and serve more than 300,000 riders per day.

Ciao, congestion

Less traffic, cleaner air, better transit, and safer streets: That’s what New Yorkers have to look forward to with the implementation of congestion pricing. This year, the Central Business District Tolling Program moved to its next phase, with the goal of making our region a greener, safer place to live. 

Speeding up subway trips

We zipped through the year with service increases on several subway lines, including the , , and , which now arrive more frequently outside of peak commuting hours. 

An elevator at street level.
The 7 Av station in Brooklyn became newly accessible this year.

Stations got a lift 🛗

Going up! Our historic investment in accessibility is paying off. This year, nine stations got a lift, with new elevators that made them either partially or fully accessible. 

Accessibility innovations for all 

Accessibility isn’t just about elevators. From accessible boarding area decals in stations, to automated wheelchair securement on buses and apps that translate visual information (like stations signs) into accessible formats, we worked hard to make it easier for all our customers to get around this year. 

Making transit greener

Public transit is the greenest way to get around , and, this year, we committed to going even further by slashing our greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2040.

A new bus network for Queens 

We took a fresh look at the Queens bus network and, in December, released the Queens Bus Network Redesign Proposed Final Plan. The goal: Create a seamless, convenient, and reliable bus network that truly works for the people of Queens. 

A group of women performing on a stage with brass instruments.
Brass Queens perform in Times Square in August.

Crowning your favorite subway performer

For the first time, we let riders vote for their favorite subway musicians through our MTA MUSIC program. You gave the crown to Brooklyn’s own Brass Queens, an eight-piece, all-female brass band. 🎷 👑 

Re-NEW-vating subway stations

More than 50 of our subway stations got a refresh as part of the station Re-NEW-vation program. This initiative uses the window provided by planned weekend service outages to scrub, scrape, paint, retile, refurbish, and renew stations from top to bottom. We also reopened subway station bathrooms this year; you've gotta go while you're on the go, we have you covered. 

A better CityTicket for all

CityTicket expanded this year, with a new peak ticket for $7 in addition to the off-peak, $5 fare. We also introduced a new ticket for our Far Rockaway customers riding the LIRR to Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.

Two women stand behind a podium that says "One Billionth OMNY tap"
Celebrating 1 billion OMNY taps. 

A record year in many ways 📈

We are so back, with over 1 billion subway rides in 2023—a milestone we hit six weeks earlier than in 2022—as well as post-pandemic ridership milestones on both the LIRR and Metro-North. We also reached our 1 billionth OMNY tap this year. We couldn't have done it without you.

Our mission going into 2024 remains the same: to provide fast, reliable, and safe service for all of our customers. Thank you, this year—and every year—for riding with us.