Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by Jeff Smith
Yeah, 1 out of 3 isn't bad, right? Hey, you get a scholarship for that grade (provided you play a sport).
  by Tommy Meehan
Using the year-to-date figures, Metro-North trails LIRR in riders-carried by less than 700,000. About 66.1 million to 65.5.

At one time the ratio was close to two to one. For people in my demographic group that is amazing!
  by joseph
glad to see we are number 1 i worked for penn central when the equipment was held together with spit and bandaids if the MTA devoted as much of their budget to Metro North as it does Long Island, we would out carry them on a regular basis i was proud to be an employee of MTA METRO NORTH R.R. before my retirement
  by freightguy
I don't have any data or articles to back this up, but supposedly MTA said on the radio that Metro North carried 82 million people vs LIRR carrying 81 making them the busiest in the US.
  by RearOfSignal
It's also in today's Daily for more recent stats.
  by freightguy
Rear of Signal,

That article was from back in October, not for annual ridership. Today's LI Newsday front cover 1/24/11 has the LIRR pictured with the ensuing article of going to No 2 as nation's busiest carrier behind Metro North. I cannot add the Newsday link to the site.
  by SecaucusJunction
They run a great railroad... no question about it. Their day to day operations, scheduling, and on time percentage are second to none. They know how to get people out of their cars. The lack of buses in a lot of their territory helps as well. LIRR is well run too, but the economy in Nassau County is really lagging. I'd suspect they will probably be battling it out for a while.
  by Amtrak7
I think that MNR's remarkable ridership growth is due to their much better physical plant that allows them to provide much more service than the LIRR.

Just look at the loading stats for the Hudson/Harlem lines. Few AM and zero PM peak trains >95%. NHL will get there once the fleet is replaced. LIRR has a handful, even a couple >100%.
  by Jeff Smith
https://www.facebook.com/notes/mta-metr ... 8373773322

Direct from the FB page:
On the three main lines, Hudson, Harlem and New Haven, ridership was up 1.7% over 2010. But West of Hudson, where the Port Jervis Line was shut down for three months after Tropical Storm Irene devastated the tracks, ridership declined 11.4% from the previous year.

Still, overall ridership last year was the second highest in Metro-North history, exceeded only by 2008, before the economic downturn, when annual ridership was 83.6 million.

"This growth is gratifying because people have a choice in travel. They are voting with their feet by taking Metro North because of the value we provide," said Railroad President Howard Permut. "This growth is the continuation of a long-term trend and is a result of our unwavering focus on reliability, cleanliness, customer service and safety."

In December, East of Hudson ridership increased 6.4%, the fastest growth rate observed in 2011 and the largest monthly ridership growth rate since September 2000, when ridership jumped up 6.7%.

Permut pointed to on-time performance as a major reason that people choose Metro-North. Of the 209,020 trains operated last year, 96.9% of them arrived on time.

"Reliability, as measured by on-time performance, is the result of all departments working together to maintain the trains, track, power and signal systems. And this includes coordinating construction projects and track outages with schedule planners and crew schedulers. It also requires a multitude of back office employees in areas such as training, purchasing, inventory control and environmental compliance to work together with a singular focus on providing excellent train service," Permut continued.

In addition to train trips, Metro-North provided 555,000 rides on the two Hudson River ferries that feed customers to the Hudson Line and on Hudson Rail Link, the west Bronx bus service that brings customers to Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil stations.

Ridership also was boosted by big increases during the holidays, with records set for Thanksgiving weekend and weekends in December. Also, New Year's Eve was the highest ridership since the mid-1990s.

Metro-North ridership is projected to grow at a rate of about 2% in 2012, continuing a trend that began in 1983, when Metro-North was created. Since then, ridership has doubled.

The annual ridership growth for 2011 is even more impressive considering the extraordinarily challenging weather that included record snowfall in January, a heat wave in July, Tropical Storm Irene in August, which completely shut down service for two days, and a snowstorm in October.
  by Jeff Smith
http://www.lohud.com/article/20120124/N ... first-time

Brief, fair-use quote:
Metro-North Railroad carried 82 million passengers last year, passing Long Island Rail Road in annual ridership for the first time ever.

Long Island Rail Road posted 81 million rides in 2011, a decline from 81.4 million the year before, according to the railroads’ numbers.
Metro-North’s ridership was the second-highest in its 29-year history, despite the pounding both railroads took from harsh winter storms, two tropical storms and October’s freak snowfall. Among the interruptions caused by the weather, Metro-North suspended the Port Jervis Line for three months after Tropical Storm Irene washed out the track in late August.
  by Tommy Meehan
If you look at the figures over the years, LIRR has done a pretty good job of increasing (and holding onto) ridership it's just that Metro-North has had astonishing growth.

LIRR (and Long Island) have been recovering much more slowly from the recession than MNR, Westchester and Connecticut. The LIRR ridership numbers have closely followed the employment trend in the region whereas Metro-North's ridership numbers recovered above the trend. (That's from the MTA's own analysis.)

But enjoy it while you can, MNRers. The last quarter of 2011 LIRR ridership grew 2.2% over the last quarter of 2010. That one million rider lead may disappear fast. :)
  by Steamboat Willie
Tom, honestly the 2 places are different. I would bet at least 90% of the LIRR's ridership all go into NYP for work. On MN, in addition to NY tons of people commute to White Plains and Stamford for work. Even Rye is a busy reverse commuter station. MN you have a tremendous amount of reverse commuters verses the one way commuters like the LIRR. Scheduling reflects trends, just look at the schedules of both places.

Just wait til all of the NHV fleet is replaced by more reliable rolling stock and they fine tune their schedules with them getting their out of service tracks back from overhead wire/bridge improvements. You will continue to still see a healthy trend of growth.

With all this being said, operating practices are also different at both places. Speaking specifically for MN since I am employed by them, I cannot express how much emphasis is put on keeping the trains moving. I think for the most part they are very proactive in getting things up and running after a mechanical fault whether it's rolling stock, a downed circuit or a washout. I have ridden the LIRR several times and the vibe over there is night and day difference verses MN.
  by Tommy Meehan
LIRR has a pretty good off-peak ridership. According to their own figures, the commutation ridership vs. non-commutation ridership is more like 60/40. I don't know how to find out how much of it is to/from Penn Station

This year through November the LIRR reported 43 million weekly or monthly tickets had been sold vs. about 31 million one-way or intermediate tickets. (Seven million of the one-way riders bought peak one-way tickets so I don't know if you want to count them as "commuters.")

Ironically Metro-North reported commuter ridership through November as 44 million, non-commuter as 31 million. So the figures are actually pretty close to LIRR's.

Below is a link to the most recent report. The LIRR figures are in a chart on page 123. Metro-North breaks down their ridership figures in a chart on page 85.

http://www.mta.info/mta/news/books/pdf/ ... _MNRLI.pdf