Subway Ridership Down

NYC Transit released its annual ridership report, and to no one’s surprise, ridership is down across the system.

Except in North Brooklyn.

Of the 423 subways stations in the system, only 65 saw an increase in ridership in 2009. More than half (38) of those stations are on lines that pass through Williamsburg and Greenpoint. And it’s not just the trains that pass through that are gaining ridership – more and more people on getting on the train in Williamsburg and Bushwick.

The Lorimer/Metropolitan Avenue stop on the G and L lines had an 11.5% increase in ridership – the fourth highest increase for any station in the system. (The stations in the top three slots all have very low ridership, so a small numerical increase can mean a big percentage increase for them – Lorimer/Metropolitan has a third-again more riders per day (11,707) than that top three stations combined (8,400).)

The Bedford Avenue L station saw a 4% increase in ridership, to a daily average of 18,525 riders. At 6.7 million riders per year, Bedford is one of the most heavily-trafficked stations without a transfer. The other stations ahead of it in this category are mainly along the 6 line in Manhattan.

Bedford Avenue is also one of the top seven-day stations, with only a 15% drop off between the level of weekday usage and the level of weekend usage. And in terms of weekend ridership, the Bedford Avenue station is the 25th busiest in the system (it’s 53rd in terms of total ridership). In other words, don’t expect to get a seat on the weekend, either.

11 of 22 stations on the L line (including First Avenue and Third Avenue) saw an increase in ridership. Over on the J/M/Z line, things are really picking up. Almost every station on the Brooklyn/Queens side of the line (22 of 30) has seen an increase in ridership. The Marcy stop is the most heavily trafficked outside of Manhattan, where most of the stations are hubs), with 8,241 riders per day.

The G train also saw an increase in ridership at many of its stations (9 of 17, by my count). However, both of the Greenpoint stations saw a drop in service of roughly 3%.

Overall, all of the Williamsburg and Bushwick stations on the J/M/Z saw an increase in ridership, as did the Bedford, Lorimer, Morgan and Jefferson stops on the L, and the Metropolitan and Broadway stops on the G.

And all of this is for 2009 – before most of the waterfront developments currently under construction are occupied and before a slew of inland developments came on line. But there’s always room for more.