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MTA trips increase despite Sandy, agency says

I agree that MTA should do more internal

I agree that MTA should do more internal audits on its waste and corruption. It's only cheaper to use public transportation because tunnel tolls have been raised 1,400 percent since 1980. Photo Credit: Kevin P Coughlin

MTA ridership hit a 62-year high last year, despite superstorm Sandy temporarily shutting down the system, the agency said Monday.

The MTA, which measures ridership on the number of trips made, offered more than 2.6 billion rides along the subways, buses, railroads and other services in 2012, the agency said.

The largest increase in rides was on the subway, which had 13.7 million more trips in 2012 than in 2011, an increase of about 0.8 percent. Annual subway ridership broke a record with 1.654 billion trips, the highest also in 62 years.

"MTA ridership has been growing for 20 years, and this positive trend reflects New York State's improving economy and continuing improvements to the MTA's services," interim MTA chief Fernando Ferrer said.

The MTA Bus company, which was formed between 2004-06, saw the highest percentage jump, with ridership rising about 1.2 percent last year over 2011.

The Metro-North Railroad, meanwhile, had its second-highest ridership year in history, with about 83 million rides in 2012.

Still, the MTA estimated that it lost about 49.7 million trips when systems were shut down after Sandy hit Oct. 29, with some 43.8 million lost from the subway, 2.4 million from the LIRR, 1.8 million from Metro-North, 1.6 million on the MTA Bus Company and 100,000 from the Staten Island Railway.

Changes in system ridership

MTA ridership last year hit a 62-year high.

Here are the percentage changes for each MTA service from 2011 to 2012:

Subway: 13.7 million more rides from 2011 to 2012, up about 0.8%

NYC Transit Buses: 3.07 million fewer rides, down about 0.5%

MTA Bus Company: 1.45 million more rides, up about 1.2%

Metro-North: 916,000 more rides, up about 1.1%

LIRR: 763,000 more rides, up about 0.9%

Staten Island Railway: 138,000 fewer rides, down about 3.0%

-- Tim Herrera

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