The Flushing-Main Street stop. The 6 train. The M15.
These were the greatest hits among the city’s commuters, according to the MTA.
Using data from Jan. 1, 2023 through the end of November, the MTA announced some of its most popular stops and stations of the year. The MTA said the station with the most MetroCard swipes was Flushing-Main Street, which clocked 6.3 million people using the traditional payment system.
Meanwhile, the Grand Central Terminal subway station had a record high number of OMNY taps, with 5.4 million people using the new fare payment method.
MTA board member Andrew Albert said that popularity should translate to new technology at the station.
“Judging by the numbers, the next candidate for the placement of OMNY vending machines is Flushing-Main Street!” he said in an email.
The 6 line had the most riders for the year, with the MTA adding that it should clock more than 140 million riders by the year’s end, which is more riders than the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North combined.
“These massive figures show a bustling transit network providing essential services to millions of New Yorkers, commuters and visitors every single day,” Danny Pearlstein, policy and communications director for the transit advocacy group Riders Alliance, wrote in an email.
The M15 and M15SBS, which run from East Harlem down the east side of Manhattan to South Ferry, were this year’s top bus line, clocking 16.4 million riders from the start of the year through November.
An assortment of accolades went to a variety of Long Island Rail Road stations.
The most popular station for City Tickets – which are issued for travel on the Long Island Rail Road for riding within the five boroughs – went to the Bayside stop, which sold 242,000 tickets.
“City Ticket has proven its importance in bringing city riders on the railroads! With the arrival of OMNY on the railroads, we hope the weekly City Ticket, which includes free transfers to subways and buses, will make its long-awaited return!” Albert wrote.
This year, the MTA announced the OMNY rollout for the commuter railroads has been delayed and likely won’t be completed until the end of 2025.
The most off-peak LIRR tickets were sold to Ronkonkoma at 656,000, while Hicksville was the station with the most monthly tickets at 23,000.
The LIRR branch with the most ridership was the Huntington/Port Jefferson Branch at 10.8 million trips through November.
The MTA excluded tickets sold at Penn Station, Grand Central Madison and Jamaica Station for its awards. Similarly, with Metro-North, the agency did not include tickets sold at Grand Central Terminal.
It credited Stamford, Connecticut, with the most monthly tickets sold at 18,379; Fordham with the most CityTickets sold at 301,905; and most off-peak tickets were sold at Harlem-125th Street, clocking 576,590.
The Metro-North line with the highest ridership was the New Haven line, with 26.1 million trips.
Still, the numbers are far below the pre-pandemic ridership levels of 2019. Several weekdays in December had subway ridership more than 20% below pre-pandemic levels, which is 2 million fewer riders a day.
The Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and buses have similar ridership patterns, with many days 20% below pre-pandemic levels.
An MTA board member who represents riders said the numbers still signify progress from the pandemic-era lows.
“Any way you add it up, riders are getting back on board across the system,” Lisa Daglian, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, wrote in an email. “It’s no surprise to us that in a region as unique as ours, riders are finding their own way to make transit their own – whether by OMNY, CityTicket or a swipe, traveling off peak and on from Greenport to Poughkeepsie, and across the busiest bus lines in the nation.”