Phased Enhancements Geared Toward Providing Additional Service Where Recovery Rates Are Highest
Approximately 2.9 Million Riders Projected to Benefit from Enhanced Weekend Service, Where Average Ridership Is Around 80% of Pre-COVID Baseline
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the next phase of subway service enhancements will begin on Saturday, Aug. 12, with headways of approximately six minutes instead of every eight minutes on the and subway lines. These service enhancements were made possible through $35 million of funding in the FY 2024 New York State Budget.
“It’s no secret that weekend ridership and discretionary travel are rebounding to pre-COVID levels faster than weekdays, and adding more service is going to help us build on that momentum,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “We’ve said this whole time that once the funding is there, we’d look to expand service outside of the weekday peaks. Now, thanks to the budget passed by Governor Hochul and the State Legislature, we have the money and we’re keeping our promise.”
“Customers consistently tell us that improved service and reduced wait times will increase their satisfaction and bring them back to the subway more frequently, and we are listening,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “These service enhancements mean and train customers will wait no more than six minutes between trains on the weekend and can travel with confidence that the subway is the fastest way to get around New York City.”
“As ridership continues to rebound on weekends, the additional funding to provide more frequent service will bring real benefits to and train customers in Manhattan and the Bronx, said New York City Transit Senior Vice President of Subways Demetrius Crichlow. “We look forwarding to building on the successful rollout of service enhancements introduced over the summer during the remainder of 2023, bringing better, more frequent service to customers on lines across the system.”
“Riders want better, more convenient transit that gets them where they need to go quickly and safely,” said MTA Acting Chief Customer Officer Shanifah Rieara. “Customer satisfaction is our top priority, and between increased service and the launch of our new MTA app, riders have all the information they need at their fingertips.”
“Our subway system is the heart of the city and I’m so pleased to see plans to enhance weekend service on the and lines, both of which run through the district I represent,” said Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick. “New Yorkers rely on the trains to get them safely to work and other activities, and the MTA’s announcement today is welcomed news. I am especially heartened to see that ridership is increasing as we continue to recover from the pandemic.”
“This year, we fought to bring more funding to the MTA in the state budget to improve the lives of the millions of New Yorkers who depend on its services every day,” said Assembly Member Grace Lee. “It is great to see this funding begin to be implemented and to know that commuters in my district and across New York will benefit from increased service, including on the and trains. I look forward to seeing this funding utilized over the next year to make transit in our city more accessible and reliable for all.”
“The subway is an integral part of the fabric of New York City which connects people to opportunity, work, and recreation while driving the economy,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera. “New Yorkers deserve six-minute wait times, and I commend the MTA for their commitment to running the train every six minutes on the weekends. Many residents on the East Side do not work a typical 9-5 shift and the train is the only train within walking distance from where they live. Fast, reliable weekend train service means workers will be able to dependably get to work on time and get home at a reasonable hour.”
The planned enhancements focus on periods where subway ridership has recovered the highest from its pre-pandemic baseline. Subway ridership overall continues to recover with the latest trend showing 3.85 million paid riders on a typical average weekday and 2.2 million riders on an average Saturday or Sunday. Weekend ridership has outpaced weekday ridership in its recovery, with weekend ridership around 80% of its pre-COVID baseline, compared to weekdays when ridership has been around 65% to 70% of the pre-COVID baseline. The train carries approximately 285,000 on an average weekend day, while the train serves 270,000.
New York City Transit explored where additional off-peak service would have the most benefit, focusing primarily on lines with train frequencies of 10 to 12 minutes during off-peak hours. Planned work was taken into consideration when these enhancements were planned to ensure critical state of good repair work and capital work would not be affected.
The first phase of weekend service increases on the lines, increasing frequency on the three lines with trains arriving every eight to 10 minutes instead of every 10 to 12 minutes, began on Sunday, July 2. The first phase of weekday service increases on the line began on Monday, August 7, with midday trains arriving every eight minutes instead of every 10 minutes. Later this month, midday service lines will increase with trains arriving every eight minutes instead of every 10 minutes.
Later this year and through Summer 2024, the following service increases are scheduled to go into effect:
Third Phase, December 2023: Evening Service Increase on Lines and Midday Service on Line
To end 2023, evening service on weekdays will increase on the lines and midday service will increase on the line. Trains on those lines would arrive every eight minutes under the enhanced service. Additionally, six minute service on the lines during the weekend would be extended to include more hours of the day.
Fourth Phase, July 2024: Midday and Evening Weekday Service Increases on Lines
The final phase of the planned service enhancements is scheduled for July 2024, with weekday service increases on the lines. The service increase would have trains arriving every eight minutes. Additionally, service would be added to the lines on weekends, with trains arriving every 10 minutes.