Ridership Up 4% in Record 2008

That period of crazy-high gas prices last year was good for Metro-North business, as the railroad announced it clicked tickets for 84 million rides last year–a record for Metro-North.

Furthermore, us East-of-Hudson types enjoyed 97.5% on-time arrivals, meaning trains pulled in within six minutes of their scheduled arrival time. And 94% of you’s said you were satisfied with your Metro-North service–some presumably even on the dreaded New Haven Line.

So I suppose it’s only fare…I mean fair…to let Executive Director Elliot G. Sander gloat a bit.  “Metro-North’s record-breaking ridership, stellar on-time performance and all-time high customer satisfaction represent of [sic] what is happening across our network of railroads, subways and buses,” he says. “These results reflect our belief that if you provide high-quality service, customers will take notice and vote with their feet.” 

I know the “vote with their feet” thing sounds like we’ve decided to walk to the city, but I think Sander was actually talking about taking the train, as opposed to driving.

One expects that Metro-North won’t be reporting another record in ridership next year, with all the layoffs. I’ve been asked twice in the last few weeks if I’m seeing fewer riders on the trains (or, as Warner Wolf might’ve said on Channel 2 in a happier time, people showing up dressed as empty seats). In fact I haven’t–trains are every bit as full in the morning, and certainly jam-packed in the evenings, as evidenced by the two times I’ve had to stand rather than sittin’ bitch in a three-seater in recent weeks.  

Maybe it’s because I take the slacker-esque 8:16 in the morning, when Wall Street is already starting to think about lunch, or because I take a normal-ish train home in the evening, when the stock broker guys are just about to nip into the day’s first martini at Dos Caminos. Or maybe we just don’t have a lot of finance folk on the Harlem line.

Anyone seeing it differently?

This entry was posted in Elliot Sander, Metro North, New Haven Line and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Ridership Up 4% in Record 2008

  1. jersey jim says:

    My NJ Transit train has definitely been more crowded – inbound and outbound, over the last month or so. Cars are filled up, and the random conductor announcements about available seats, supports this.

    Less folks driving from the far western towns, more folks getting to the city pre-9am, it seems.

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