NYC subway-track deaths soar, driven by social-media dares



The Metropolitan Transportation Authority had distressing news last week: Deaths on subway-train tracks soared in 2022, to 88.

It’s a little-remarked element of our post-2020 era of disorder and chaos.


But as with everything else in New York in the past three years, things went awry. Last year’s 88 track deaths were 35% above the 2018 and 2019 averages — 65 each year.

For context, 120 pedestrians died above ground last year in crashes with cars or trucks, close to the average of 121 in 2018 and 2019.


What’s going on? Of 1,365 known subway-track incidents in 2022 (most of which didn’t end in death), about 15% were accidental falls or medical emergencies, a new MTA analysis finds.

A thankfully surprisingly low number — fewer than 10% — was suicides or suicide attempts.

An even smaller percentage was assaults — that is, people being pushed to the tracks. (Though with pushes to the tracks comprising three of last year’s 10 subway murders, a 30-year high, a small percentage is too many.)

In most cases — well more than two-thirds — people ended up on the tracks voluntarily.

In 20% of total cases, people were clearly mentally ill (but not attempting suicide); in another 10% or so, people were drugged or drunk.


The worst spike in track intrusions started a little more than a year ago, in December 2021 to February 2022. (This includes January 2022, when Michelle Go was pushed to her death in Times Square by a mentally ill, violent ex-con.)

This winter, track intrusions are down 30%.

Why? Largely police enforcement.

Author(s): Nicole Gelinas

Publication Date: 2 April 2023

Publication Site: NY Post

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Subway Ridership in New York City




Subway turnstile data published by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) shows a correlation between median household income and subway ridership. Neighborhoods with lower median household incomes tended to have significantly higher ridership as a share of 2019 levels compared to wealthier neighborhoods. This trend was clear not only in April, when COVID-19 had its most dramatic impact on ridership, but has continued through the recovery to date.

In high-income neighborhoods, residents are more likely to be employed in sectors that have easily adapted to remote-work models, such as financial activities and business services. In neighborhoods where residents are more likely to continue using the subway during the pandemic, common areas of employment are the health care and social assistance sector and the leisure and hospitality sector.

Author(s): Thomas DiNapoli

Date Accessed: 28 March 2021

Publication Site: Office of New York State Comptroller

Day-by-day ridership numbers



Updated February 18, 2021

We’re keeping this page up to date with systemwide ridership and traffic estimates for subwaysbusesLong Island Rail RoadMetro-North RailroadAccess-A-Ride, and Bridges and Tunnels. You can see changes over the past seven days, as well as get a sense of how ridership and traffic differs this year versus last year. We will generally update the page on weekdays, excluding holidays, with the prior day’s figures. At times, data issues may delay the updates.

Download all the data we have published on this page.

Date Accessed: 18 February 2021

Publication Site: MTA