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Changes in Ridership Within New York Penn Station

On a given weekday, New York Penn Station sees approximately 430,000 riders boarding and alighting trains within the station. A rider is counted twice if that rider takes a train into Penn Station in the morning (an alighting) and boards a train in Penn Station in the evening (a boarding). Penn Station is served by three regional rail systems. MTA LIRR accounts for approximately 233,360 boardings and alightings, or 54% of daily riders on a given weekday. NJ Transit accounts for approximately 167,750 boardings and alightings, or 39% of daily riders on a given weekday. And Amtrak accounts for approximately 30,750 boardings and alightings, or 7% of daily riders on a given weekday. Amtrak’s service at Penn Station can be divided between trains traveling on the Northeast Corridor, which accounts for approximately 26,000 daily riders, and Amtrak’s Empire Corridor, which accounts for approximately 4,750 daily riders. In terms of measuring the percentage of a transit network’s riders traveling to Penn Station as opposed to a different station within the network, LIRR leads the three systems with 75.8% of all riders boarding and alighting in Penn Station. Amtrak is second with 71.5% of all riders along the Northeast Corridor and Empire Corridor boarding and alighting in Penn Station. NJ Transit has the lowest share of riders boarding and alighting in Penn Station, only 58.7%, largely due to infrastructural limitations preventing more trains from terminating in Penn Station. However, in spite of these limitations, NJ Transit has also added the greatest number of new boardings and alightings over the past seven years. Since 2007, approximately 4,500 more NJ Transit passengers use Penn Station every day. Amtrak has also added over 3,000 daily Northeast Corridor riders boarding and alighting in Penn Station since 2007, but has lost approximately 700 daily Empire Corridor riders. The biggest decrease in daily use of Penn Station has come from MTA LIRR, which saw almost 11,500 fewer riders boarding and alighting in 2012 than in 2007. This discrepancy can largely be attributed to changes in each system’s broader ridership. From 2007 to 2012, NJ Transit saw its annual ridership increase by 2.2 million passengers, while LIRR saw its annual ridership decrease by 4.3 million passengers. Overall, New York Penn Station has seen its net daily ridership decline by approximately 4,400 passengers since 2007.

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