Since the opening of the Second Avenue Subway’s three new stations on January 1, 2017, taxi pickups and dropoffs in the immediate vicinity have declined, according to a new report by NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation.
Ridership on the New York City Subway has grown drastically in the last four decades, from 966 million in 1975 to 1.7 billion in 2015; at the Times Square subway station alone, rides increased by 29 million. This explosive growth in usage demonstrates the system’s importance to both the city and region. New York City’s 24-hour subway promotes a dynamic economy, livability, and connectivity giving residents access to economic opportunities and a quality of life that is unparalleled in most world cities.
Growth in subway ridership reflects the changes in New York City. This report addresses key moments in the City’s history affecting subway ridership, including the high homicide rate in the 1980s, introduction of the MetroCard, attacks of September 11, 2001, Financial Crisis of 2008, and peak tourism numbers in 2010-2015.
The health and continued growth of the subway system is critical to New York City’s future, and must be maintained and upgraded to reflect New Yorkers’ increasing reliance. Recommended system upgrades are included in this report.
Citi Bike is most heavily used in Manhattan- 83% of September trips started & ended there, with concentration around major transportation networks. If the system expands to the outer boroughs ridership is expected to be lower, speaking to the need for additional private or public financing— but will likely still primarily transport New Yorkers to commercial centers and other forms of transportation like buses and subways.
The majority of Citi Bike trips are short in both time and distance; 98% lasted under 45 minutes and 48% lasted under ten minutes— highlighting the importance of station density to match how people are using the system.
Only 112 stations (18%) are located in Zip Codes that have median household incomes of less than $50,000—reinforcing the importance of improving bike equity and access throughout the system.
The paper, published by Sarah M. Kaufman and Jenny O’Connell, is the result of an open forum on the status of Citi Bike hosted at the Rudin Center in November of 2016. Expert speakers included Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee; Tracey Capers (Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation/BSRC); Elena Conte (Pratt Center for Community Development); and Paul Steely White (Transportation Alternatives). NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Director Mitchell L. Moss moderated.
The panelists agreed that Citi Bike provided a valuable transportation service, and alternative funding methods would be necessary to support expansion to a five-borough Citi Bike network.
As the “baby boomer” cohort begins to age past 65, adults over the age of 65 are projected to reach 20% of the nation’s population by 2030. However, many older New Yorkers are unable to use public transportation because of a lack of subway station accessibility. Instead, they rely on the Access-A-Ride (AAR) paratransit system, which provides door-to-door transportation for riders who are unable to use the buses or subways. AAR operations will cost a projected record $505.7 million in 2016. Demand for AAR is expected to increase as the city’s population of older adults grows, presenting a significant challenge for mobility. This report attempts to forecast an increase in demand for AAR by location and make recommendations for accessibility reform.
The November elections saw major wins for transportation infrastructure projects in the United States. 56 of the 82 ( or 68%) of the initiatives proposed in cities, counties and states passed. NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation has created a map (below) of the ballot measures that were voted on with the results highlighted.
On the map, green indicates that a measure was passed, yellow indicates that data is not yet available, and red indicates that a measure did not pass. Hover over an area to read about the ballot measures proposed.
Some of the nation’s most notable transportation wins are seen in Seattle, Los Angeles County, and the State of New Jersey.
In Seattle, voters passed Sound Transit 3, a $54 billion initiative to add 62 miles and 37 stations of light rail in the next 25 years. The initiative will include more commuter trains and bus lines and will see a light rail extension to both Everett and Tacoma, two of the most populated areas in the Seattle metro-region.
In Los Angeles County, voters passed Measure M which will expand public transit service throughout the City and in outlying suburban areas. The measure is an ambitious effort to expand light rail services with funding generated from a sales tax of half a penny on every dollar spent in the county. The project includes a tunnel to connect the San Fernando Valley and the Westside, easing traffic congestion along the 405 freeway, as well as transit lines extending to the suburbs of Artesia, Claremont, Torrance, Whittier and South El Monte.
In the State of New Jersey, voters approved Question 2 to amend the state constitution and dedicate all revenue from state gas tax to the Transportation Trust Fund, ensuring that the money is used only for transportation purposes. The Transportation Trust Fund is the contract authority which allows the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the New Jersey Transit Corporation to advance capital projects.
To gear up for Election Day, the NYU Rudin Center looked at transportation ballot measures throughout the United States. We created this handy map to help you explore initiatives across the nation (click on highlighted areas for details). Below the map: our first in a series of Ballot Highlights featuring the Kansas City Streetcar Initiative.
Ballot Highlight: Kansas City Streetcar
This November, voters in Kansas City will decide whether to approve an increase in sales taxes to support the expansion, maintenance and operation of a citywide light rail transit system. Currently, the Kansas City Streetcar’s Operating Budget is supported by a sales tax, a special assessment on real estate and a supplemental assessment on surface pay parking lots within the Downtown Streetcar Transportation Development District.
The L train tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn will close fully to trains for 18 months in 2019 to repair extensive damage from Superstorm Sandy. The L has become synonymous with the Brooklyn brand; ridership at Brooklyn’s Bedford Avenue station has increased more than thirty percent since 2010.
The NYU Rudin Center addresses the effects of this closure in our newest report, “L Train Closure and Mitigation,” written by Mitchell L. Moss, Sarah M. Kaufman, Jorge Hernandez and Sam Levy.
This report analyzes how the L train’s surrounding Brooklyn communities will absorb the economic impact of this tunnel closure: jobs, commutes dining and nightlife will be affected, and recommends mitigation measures.
The NYU Rudin Center for Transportation has updated our January 2015 report: “Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods,” focusing on the variations of job access by transit throughout New York City. The new edition includes this year’s new transit resources, such as the 7 line station and Select Bus Service routes.