The COVID pandemic may be receding, but it left lasting impacts on the commuter habits of New Yorkers who used to drive or take mass transit to the office.
Consider Metro-North Railroad in the Hudson Valley, one of the nation’s busiest commuter lines and a good gauge of just how many New Yorkers continue working remotely.
The railroad experienced unprecedented ridership dips during the pandemic while workers in the financial and professional sectors, once the railroad’s most dependable commuter, worked from home.
Ridership totals rebounded last year but remain well below pre-pandemic levels. In 2022, ridership increased to nearly 49 million from around 31 million in 2021, a 59% bump. But the total was still 56.4% of the 2019 total.
Weekend ridership hovers around pre-pandemic totals. And Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road, its sister agency, had a few good weekday counts in May, perhaps a sign of better things to come.
On Tuesday, May 30, the LIRR set a post-pandemic record with 227,623 riders.
The Tuesday before Metro-North tallied 214,621 riders, a COVID-era record. But the total was still 75% of ridership on a comparable day before the pandemic.
Ridership on Mondays and Fridays remains lower than the other days of the week.
We'd like to hear from you
What’s going on?
Are these permanent trends with implications for the finances of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Metro-North’s parent agency?
To answer these questions, we’d like to hear from you. How has your commute changed during the pandemic? Are you going into work three days a week – Tuesday through Thursday – and spending the other days working from home?
Is your company committed to remote work? Do you ride mass transit or drive?
Please take a minute to share your experience by filling out the form that accompanies this story, either online or using an attached QR code in print. Your response will go straight to a reporter for the USA Today Network. We may reach out to you for more information as we pursue stories on this topic.
This article originally appeared on New York State Team: Has your NY commute to work changed after COVID? Tell us your story