Editor’s Note: This article was updated on April 21, 2015.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)New York’s subway system is more crowded than it has been in decades.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, ridership grew 2.6 percent to 1.75 billion customers in 2014, the highest it has been in more than 65 years.

On 29 days during the last four months of the year, the system carried more than 6 million riders — a level not seen since the boom years following World War II.

While ridership grew across all five boroughs last year, Brooklyn saw the biggest climb — 2.9 percent.

At Marcy Avenue, where the J, M and Z trains rumble toward the Williamsburg Bridge, ridership spiked by 24 percent in just one year, WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported.

“Two or three years ago, I’d never use this train except if I really had to go to lower Manhattan, and now I use it all the time,” said Neshla, a subway rider.

She is one of several who say rerouting the M to Midtown a few years ago gave the line new life. There also has been a housing renaissance in Williamsburg and Bushwick.

“Years ago, this was very kind of dead-looking place, but now it’s much livelier,” another woman said.

Esther and her daughter, who use the Marcy Avenue station often, said they noticed the increase for sure.

“In the morning it’s very crowded,” Esther told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria.

Another straphanger, Susan, said service has struggled to keep pace with the additional riders.

“There definitely is more traffic here than they’re used to be,” she said.

Other riders told D’Auria the overcrowding at the Marcy Avenue station is even more noticeable when the nearby L train is out of service.

MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast credits young people as one big factor for the surge in ridership.

He said he’s seen photos of loaded platforms on the L line from 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

“We’re their designated driver,” he said. “And we don’t mind being their designated driver. So they can go out. They can enjoy themselves. They don’t have to worry about the hassel and the hustle of trying to park their car.”

Comments

Leave a Reply