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The MTA Network: Public Transportation for the New York Region

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is North America's largest transportation network, serving a population of 15.3 million people in the 5,000-square-mile area fanning out from New York City through Long Island, southeastern New York State, and Connecticut.

The MTA network comprises the nation’s largest bus fleet and more subway and commuter rail cars than all other U.S. transit systems combined. It provides over 2.6 billion trips each year, accounting for about one-third of the nation’s mass transit users and two-thirds its commuter rail passengers. MTA Bridges and Tunnels, which recorded a record 310 million crossings in 2017, carries more vehicles than any other bridge and tunnel authority in the nation.

The MTA’s provision of safe, clean, efficient public transportation is the lifeblood of the New York City area, one of the world’s major economic hubs. It opens up employment opportunities for millions of area residents, linking them to jobs miles from their homes. It revives old neighborhoods and gives rise to new business corridors. It links millions of residents and visitors to cultural, educational, retail, and civic centers across the region.

Many additional benefits flow from the MTA transit network. While nearly 85 percent of the nation's workers drive to their jobs, four-fifths of all rush-hour commuters to New York City's central business districts use transit, most operated by the MTA, thus reducing automobile congestion and its associated problems. By using MTA transit, New Yorkers avoid an estimated 17 million metric tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) annually, while emitting only 2 million metric tons. This makes the MTA arguably the greatest single source of GHG avoidance in the U.S. and has made New York the nation’s most carbon-efficient state.

In short, the combined benefits of the MTA network help ensure New York's place as a world center of finance, commerce, culture, an education. The city ranks near the top of numerous surveys for business and livability because it has, as Fortune magazine has written, "what every city desires. A workable mass transit system."

To restore, improve, and expand this irreplaceable public asset, the MTA has committed some $117.8 billion in capital program funding between 1982 and 2017. This includes the major restoration-resiliency projects stemming from Superstorm Sandy in 2012, as well as the network’s largest expansions in over six decades. The latter include the Second Avenue Subway, Phases 1 and 2; the extension of the 7 Line to the Javits Convention Center; LIRR’s East Side Access to Grand Central Terminal; and the expansion of the LIRR Main Line.

As the MTA continues to improve and expand under its $30 billion 2015-2019 Capital Program, it is accelerating critical improvements to its century-old subway system under the Subway Action Plan, announced in July 2017, which aims at both immediate performance gains and a thoroughly modernized subway system to serve New York in the 21st century.

A public-benefit corporation chartered by the New York State Legislature in 1968, the MTA is governed by a 17-member Board. Members are nominated by the Governor, with four recommended by New York City's mayor and one each by the county executives of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Putnam counties. (Members representing the latter four cast one collective vote.) All Board members are confirmed by the New York State Senate.

MTA Totals at a Glance*
2018 operating budget
$16 billion
Annual ridership
Average weekday ridership
Rail and subway lines, and bus routes
Rail and subway cars
Track miles
Bus route miles
Rail and subway stations
*Financial data from MTA 2018 Adopted Budget, Feb. 2018. Statistical data based on final estimates for the year ending Dec. 31, 2017. Employees based on authorized positions.

MTA New York City Transit

See MTA New York City Transit statistics below, or go to maps of the system, or agency performance metrics.

Subway in the sky
When the subway opened in 1904, it launched an unprecedented era of growth and prosperity for the newly unified New York City. One hundred years later, the city's reliance on its underground rapid transit system is greater than ever. NYC Transit keeps New York moving 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as its subways speed through underground tunnels and elevated structures in the boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. On Staten Island, the MTA Staten Island Railway links 22 communities.

Motor-bus service on the streets of Manhattan began in 1905. Today, NYC Transit's buses run in all five boroughs, on more than 200 local and 30 express routes. They account for 80 percent of the city's surface mass transportation.

NYC Transit also administers paratransit service throughout New York City to provide transportation options for people with disabilities.

MetroCard®, the MTA's automated fare collection medium, is accepted on all New York City Transit subway stations and on buses. It can also be used on MTA Bus, Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) bus, and on the PATH system (operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey), a subway linking New York and New Jersey.

Among NYC Transit's capital projects are additional new subway cars and a state-of-the-art "communication-based” signal system to replace the old “block” signal system and electro-mechanical signals.

MTA New York City Transit at a Glance*
Subway in four boroughs, buses and paratransit in five boroughs.
2018 operating budget
$8.4 billion
Annual ridership
Average weekday passengers
Subway lines
Bus routes
Subway cars
Track miles
Bus route miles
Subway stations
* Financial data from MTA 2018 Adopted Budget, Feb. 2018. Statistical data based on final estimates for the year ending Dec. 31, 2017. Employees based on authorized positions.

The MTA Staten Island Railway*
2018 operating budget
$60 million
Annual ridership
Average weekday passengers
Subway lines
Rail cars
Track miles
Rail Stations
Financial data from MTA 2018 Adopted Budget, Feb. 2018. Statistical data based on final estimates for the year ending Dec. 31, 2017. Employees based on authorized positions.

MTA Bus Company

See MTA Bus Company statistics below or go to the maps of the system or agency performance metrics.

The MTA Bus Company was created in September 2004 to assume the operations of seven bus companies that operated under franchises granted by the New York City Department of Transportation.

The takeover of the lines began in 2005 and was completed early in 2006.

MTA Bus is responsible for both the local and express bus operations of the seven companies, consolidating operations, maintaining current buses, and purchasing new buses to replace the aging fleet currently in service.

MTA Bus operates 47 local routes in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, and 35 express bus routes between Manhattan and the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Queens. It has a fleet of more than 1,200 buses, the 11th largest bus fleet in the United States and Canada.

MTA Bus at a Glance*
Buses in four boroughs
2018 operating budget
$773 million
Annual ridership
Average weekday ridership
Bus routes
Bus route miles
*Financial data from MTA 2018 Adopted Budget, Feb. 2018. Statistical data based on final estimates for the year ending Dec. 31, 2017. Employees based on authorized positions.

MTA Long Island Rail Road

See MTA Long Island Rail Road statistics below, or go to the map of the system, or performance metrics.

Penn Station entrance
The Long Island Rail Road is both the largest commuter railroad and the oldest railroad in America operating under its original name. Chartered in 1834, it extends from three major New York City terminals — Penn Station, Flatbush Avenue, and Hunterspoint Avenue — through a major transfer hub at Jamaica to the easternmost tip of Long Island.

Traditionally serving a Manhattan-bound market, the LIRR has undertaken extensive efforts to augment its reverse-commute and off-peak service to meet the needs of businesses in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The railroad has replaced many of its oldest electric cars with state-of-the-art M-7 rail cars and has modernized its entire diesel fleet with new locomotives, bi-level coaches, and "dual-mode” locomotives that operate in both diesel and electrified territory, enabling many customers to travel between Long Island and Manhattan without changing trains.

Through the Capital Program, the railroad has restored Jamaica Station in Queens, the transfer point for the AirTrain to JFK Airport, and the Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. Ongoing capital projects include LIRR East Side Access to Grand Central Terminal and expansion of the Main Line.

MTA Long Island Rail Road at a Glance*
Rail lines in Nassau and Suffolk counties and in
New York City
2018 operating budget
$1.6 billion
Annual ridership
Average weekday ridership
Rail lines
Rail cars
Track miles
Rail stations
*Financial data from MTA 2018 Adopted Budget, Feb. 2018. Statistical data based on final estimates for the year ending Dec. 31, 2017. Employees based on authorized positions.

MTA Metro-North Railroad

See MTA Metro-North Railroad statistics below, or go to the system map, or agency performance metrics.

Metro-North train
Metro-North Railroad is second largest commuter railroad in the nation. Its main lines the Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven — run northward out of Grand Central Terminal, a Beaux-Arts Manhattan landmark, into suburban New York and Connecticut. Grand Central has been completely restored and redeveloped as a retail hub — a destination in its own right.

West of the Hudson River, Metro-North's Port Jervis and Pascack Valley lines operate from NJ Transit's Hoboken terminal and provide service to Rockland and Orange counties. With the opening of Secaucus Junction, West-of-Hudson customers can now transfer to trains that will carry them directly to Newark or New York's Penn Station, and the Pascack Valley Line has introduced weekend service for the first time in 60 years.

The railroad upgraded its rolling stock through the acquisition of M-7 rail cars for Harlem and Hudson Line service has introduced M-8 cars — in partnership with the State of Connecticut — to replace the aging New Haven Line fleet. These high-tech cars are more comfortable and more reliable, especially in winter weather. The railroad is also completing a 21st century fiber-optic system to provide more reliable communication with staff and customers.

MTA Metro-North Railroad at a Glance*
Rail lines in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, and Rockland counties and in Connecticut and New York City.
2018 operating budget
$1.3 billion
Annual ridership
Average weekday ridership
Rail lines
Rail cars
Track miles
Rail stations
*Financial data from MTA 2018 Adopted Budget, Feb. 2018. Statistical data based on final estimates for the year ending Dec. 31, 2017. Employees based on authorized positions.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

See MTA Bridges and Tunnels statistics below, or go to the regional map, or the agency performance metrics.

Verrazano Bridge

MTA Bridges and Tunnels (B&T) was created in 1933 by Robert Moses. It now serves more than 868,000 vehicles each weekday — over 310 million vehicles each year — and carries more traffic than any other bridge and tunnel authority in the nation. Surplus revenues from the authority's tolls help support MTA public transit services.

B&T’s seven bridges are the Robert F. KennedyThrogs NeckVerrazzano-NarrowsBronx-WhitestoneHenry HudsonMarine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial, and Cross Bay Veterans Memorial bridge. Its two tunnels are the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel and Queens Midtown. All B&T crossings are within New York City.

As of October 2017, B&T crossings operate with cashless, electronic tolling systems only. Customers now pay a discounted toll with E-ZPass or receive an undiscounted bill by mail through video tolling. Cash is no longer accepted. Cashless tolling enables B&T facilities to process traffic flows more rapidly, safely, and efficiently. By reducing idling time, cashless tolling also reduces carbon emissions and fuel consumption. As of December 2017, more than 95 percent of B&T’s weekday customers use E-ZPass®.

MTA B&T is a cofounder of the E-ZPass Interagency Group, which has implemented integrated toll collection in 16 states, including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia. A single E-ZPass account can be used to pay tolls for any of the member agencies of this group.

Get more information about cashless tolling, and E-ZPass.

MTA Bridges and Tunnels at a Glance*
Seven bridges and two tunnels in New York City; toll revenues help subsidize mass transit

2018 Operating Budget

$596 million

Support to Mass Transit

$1.0 billion

Annual Traffic


Average Weekday Vehicles








*Financial data from MTA 2018 Adopted Budget, Feb. 2018. Statistical data based on final estimates for the year ending Dec. 31, 2017. Employees based on authorized positions.

MTA Capital Construction

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MTA Capital Construction Company (MTACC) was formed in July 2003 to serve as the construction management company for MTA expansion projects, downtown mobility projects, and MTA-wide security projects. Today, the agency is also integrating real estate planning and economic development into MTA infrastructure projects, and pursuing innovative technology-based solutions to improve performance, capacity, and communications throughout the transportation network.

MTACC completed the award-winning Fulton Center project and the 7 line extension to the Hudson Yards area, which opened in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Most recently, the agency completed the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway, which opened January 1, 2017, with trains now operating along the extended Q subway between 63rd Street and 96th Street on the East Side of Manhattan.

Major Projects

  • East Side Access — one of the largest transportation infrastructure projects currently underway in the United States, will provide new LIRR service to the East Side of Manhattan in a new 8-track terminal and concourse below Grand Central Terminal.
  • Penn Station Access — creation of a Metro-North route to Penn Station, adding critical system resiliency and new service in the East Bronx. Like East Side Access, which will create a one-seat ride for LIRR riders to Manhattan’s East Side, Penn Access will create the same for Metro-North customers to the West Side.
  • LIRR Expansion Project — increases capacity on the LIRR Main Line by adding a third track to the existing two tracks along the 9.8 miles between Floral Park and Hicksville.
  • LIRR Double Track Project — increases capacity and reliability on the LIRR’s Ronkonkoma Branch by adding a second track along the 18-mile stretch between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma.
  • Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 — Phase 2 will extend service from 96th Street to East Harlem, creating three new stations at 106th Street and 116th Street on Second Avenue and 125 Street at Park Avenue. Phase 2 will provide multimodal transit connectivity at the 125th Street Station and create a one-seat ride from East Harlem to the Upper East Side, West Midtown, and beyond to Brooklyn, making all of the existing stops on the Broadway line.
  • Cortlandt St — Restoration and upgrade of the Cortlandt Street subway station on the 1 subway.

For more information about the MTA and its agencies, write:

Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Marketing & Corporate Communications
2 Broadway, 4th floor, New York, NY 10004

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