New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) Metro-North Railroad reported that overall ridership was up 1.5 percent in 2010, compared to the previous year, providing 81.1 million trips -- the second-highest year on record, exceeded only in 2008, when 83.3 million people took trips on Metro-North.
Metro-North also achieved an on-time record of 97.7 percent for the year, the sixth year in a row that trains performed at 97.5 percent on-time or better.
"It was a terrific performance to operate such a complex system at such a high level day in and day out," said Metro-North President Howard Permut. "It is a testament to the dedication and professionalism of our employees. The challenge in 2011 is to fix the New Haven Line and bring it up to the standards of the Hudson and Harlem lines and at the same time to continue to improve all three lines."
After 15 consecutive months of ridership declines, the ridership rebound began last March with non-commutation trips. Occasional customers who traveled during the midday, at nights and on weekends started coming back to Metro-North for their discretionary trips in March, according to the agency.
The commutation market, those who use monthly or weekly tickets for trips to and from work, began to turn around in April of 2010.
This was boosted by the first full year of service to the new Yankees-East 153rd Street Station, which accounted for 700,000 rides, about 250,000 more than in 2009. Regular, non-game day ridership more than doubled from 2009.
Of interest is the 2.8 percent rate of growth on the New Haven Line. This compares to the Hudson Line where ridership rose 1 percent and the Harlem Line, which grew 0.3 percent. Of all the line segments, the portion of the New Haven line between Stamford and New Haven was the best-performing segment with overall growth of 5 percent in 2010.
Meanwhile, west of the Hudson, on the lines operated by New Jersey Transit under contract to Metro-North, ridership at the three stations in Rockland County on the Pascack Valley Line grew 5 percent last year and achieved an overall on time performance of 96.5 percent.