More than six million riders–6,106,694 to be exact–used the New York City subway system on September 23. The record day marked the fifth day in September that riders numbered over six million, according to the MTA. Credit a huge influx of tourists for the consistent gains in ridership. In 2002–the year after the 9/11 attacks–New York tourism took in just about 34 million visitors. In 2013, that number was a record 54.3 million visitors.
New York City’s subways are famous for the way they tell the economic story of the city. In the 1970s, of course, the subways were a mecca for graffiti artists–or vandals, depending on your viewpoint. The graffiti’d subways became iconic, but New Yorkers were generally glad to see the trend pass. Cleaner subways coincided (caused?) with safer, less crime-ridden subways and the rise in riders has been mostly steady. Expect New Yorkers to take the news of the popularity of their durable mass transit system with a grain of salt though. Fares are set to increase 4% in January 2015 and again in 2017. Why isn’t there any fare relief from an MTA that is collecting money on six million rides a day?