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Subway service improved in 2019, but bus ridership lagged

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Subway on-time performance improves as bus ridership plummets

Good news and bad news: Subway trains were on time more often in 2019 than the year before, but bus ridership dropped for the sixth straight year in 2019, according to newly released MTA data.

For the first time since 2013, weekday on-time performance—the percentage of trains arriving within five minutes of their scheduled time—topped 80 percent. The 80.3 percent on-time rate for 2019 is a major departure from the year’s prior average of 67.1 percent.

But above ground, the bus system continues to struggle with plummeting ridership. The MTA racked up 546 million MetroCard swipes on its local and select bus routes in 2019—a 25 percent decrease from 2008 when the bus network provided a staggering 734 million rides. Bus officials point to congestion, competition from app-based for-hire vehicles, and the rise of cycling as its down fall.

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