Average Station Use of (Some) Major Subway Systems

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Crowded subway platform in New York City. Source: Flickr user romankphoto

I often travel to New York and, like many urbanists, find myself in unreserved awe at how busy the subway system is and how truly integral the subway is to daily life. While my city’s system (the Washington Metro) is the second busiest heavy rail (aka “subway”) system in the country, the number of people it carries isn’t even close to New York’s: the NY subway transports between 10-11 times more people per year than DC’s metro. Indeed, the NY subway carries 70% of all heavy rail trips in the US!

However, I always had an inkling that on a per-station basis, the stats are a bit closer. New York has an incredible number of stations: 422. While this is undeniably a strength of the system, it also means many stations are small and lightly used.

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