Supporting over 8.4 million people, New York City’s transit system is one of the most active and intricate in the world. The transportation system moves a dense stream of traffic each and every day, both aboveground and underneath.

The Magic of the NYC Transportation System

MTA is the largest public transportation agency in North America. The subway is used by 5.6 million people everyday and in 2014, an estimated 1.751 billion riders used the subway for travel. With such a high level of traffic, the transit system must have several lines of transportation operating on all cylinders. The extremely high demand requires an intricate and well-oiled system.

Here’s why the NYC transportation system is like no other:

NYC Subway

Although London holds the record for the world’s oldest underground train network, since 1863, and Boston’s first subway in 1897, New York City holds the largest American transit system.

The first ever New York City subway line was operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company and traveled 9.1 miles through 28 stations. Over 100,000 people paid a nickel each for their first ticket to take a ride under Manhattan on this day.

Currently, the metropolitan transit has evolved to over 469 subway stations in NYC and the MTA transit system serves Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens, making over 8,000 weekday trips. There are 24 different trains along 10 train lines.

Subway stations along the same line are generally about 8-10 blocks apart and surely the quickest way to travel around NYC, especially because they operate 24/7.


The MTA Bus Fleet

The MTA bus fleet is comparably as active as the subway system here in NYC and it’s a great way for locals to navigate around particular boroughs. 5,710 buses were active last year, the largest fleet in North America.


On average, 2.5 million locals use the bus for transportation daily. The MTA bus system has a few layers to it as well —  238 local routes, 7 Select Bus Service, and 62 express routes in the five boroughs.

The NYC transportation system has it’s down times but it’s generally filled with traveling pedestrians. More people pass through the NYC subway every single day than live in the country of Denmark. 5.8 million people ride the subway every day and NYC has no plans of slowing anytime soon.

New methods of travel like Citi Bikes which are bikes stationed for public use are perfect for easy, convenient travel. As the population continues to grow, NYC’s system is put more to the test but the intricacy of the MTA transit has proven to function well even at such a high capacity.