A surge in train travel during the last three months of 2013 helped boost Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road's (LIRR) ridership for the second year in a row with the LIRR recording a two percent jump in passenger rides over 2012 totals.
The LIRR carried 83.4 million riders in 2013, an increase of 1,640,716 passengers over the previous year. MTA says the the two percent increase is another indication that the region’s economy is improving and that LIRR customers responded to the restoration of some service that had been cut during the recession.
“We are seeing an increase in both commuters going to work and occasional riders,” said LIRR President Helena Williams. “We had the opportunity to add back some service in 2013 and we are pleased that riders are responding by using the LIRR more often to get to work, as well as for leisure and other travel during the off peak periods. We believe the increase in ridership also reflects an improving Long Island and New York City economy.”
The LIRR’s 2013 ridership is the seventh best year in the post-war period. The LIRR carried 87.4 million passengers in 2008, its best year at the time in 60 years.
The LIRR branches with notable increases in 2013 include: Port Washington with a three percent increase or 351,294 rides; Port Jefferson with a 2.7 percent increase or 471,942 rides; Far Rockaway with a 2.6 percent increase or 139,808 rides; Ronkonkoma with a 2.4 percent increase or 228,366 rides and Montauk with a 2.8 percent increase or 57,525 rides. Long Beach, which is still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, experienced a decline of 0.8 percent. The LIRR experienced a nearly three percent jump in weekly and monthly passenger rides last year.