By Philip Newman
If it seems as though your subway train gets more jammed with fellow commuters each day, it may not be a total illusion.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said what it called preliminary data indicates a modern record was reached Oct. 29 when 6,217,621 straphangers rode the New York City subways.
That broke the previous record of 6,167,165 passengers on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.
The MTA called this latest figure a modern record because the transit agency has been keeping track of how many people ride the subways only since 1984.
Transit officials believe the record set this past October is the most riders since the late 1940s when far fewer New Yorkers drove automobiles.
“The relentless growth in subway ridership shows how this century-old network is critical to New York’s future,” said MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast. “Our challenge is to maintain and improve the subways even as growing ridership puts more demands on the system.”
He pointed out that the MTA Capital Program “will allow us to bring meaningful improvements to our customers, such as real time arrival information on the lettered subway lines, cleaners and brighter stations with new technology like Help Points, modern signal systems and almost 1,000 new subway cars.”
The MTA said what it called a modern ridership record was reached on Thursday, Oct. 29, usually one of the transit system’s busiest days. The previous record of 6,167,165 was set Thursday, Oct.30, 2014.
The new record day was one of five days in October when the numbers of riders exceeded the previous year’s record and was one of 15 weekdays with ridership above six million.
Transit officials said the October 2015 average weekday subway ridership of 5,974 million was the highest of any month in more than 45 years and 1.4 percent higher than October 2014. About 80,000 more straphangers rode the subway on an average October 2015 weekday in just a year earlier – enough to fill more than 50 fully loaded subway trains.
The number of riders surged on weekends with the average weekend numbers higher than any October 45 years. On Saturday, Oct. 31, the day of the Village Halloween Parade and a Mets World Series game 3,730,881 riders took the subway, making it the fifth busiest Saturday on recent record.