226 W 150th st.
45 W 139th St
40 Pinehurst Ave.
Photo By: Mathew Henry
With a population of 8.5 million, New York City is currently the second largest metropolis on the planet, second only to Tokyo. People travel to the Big Apple from all over the world to watch spectacular shows, dine in world-class restaurants, and start new lives. Since 2010, New York City has also added close to 600,000 private-sector jobs, bringing the total population up to 3.8 million. While city advocates see these developments as positive and beneficial, some residents are experiencing a “summer of hell” regarding their transportation services. So, what’s the truth? Let’s take a look.
Between 1900 and 1930, the population of New York City grew from 3.4 million to 6.9 million. To accommodate this rapid growth, the city opened the first subway system in 1904 and another in 1932. Together, these subterranean railroad lines handled the city’s growing population with ease until the mid-1950s. Since then, the population has grown from 7.9 million to just over 8.5 million. The number of visitors has also skyrocketed to nearly 60 million per year. The transportation system, however, has stagnated. The mta subway system, for example, has more than 700 cars that are past their 40-year expiration date and some equipment that is more than 80 years old.
Today, the average New York City commute time is approximately 39.2 minutes. That’s because nearly six million people cram into the nyc subway each day to commute to work. In Manhattan alone, more than 2.3 million people use the subway on a daily basis. An additional 328,000 people also commute into the city from Westchester, Connecticut, and New Jersey. To make matters worse, the aging transportation system is beginning to show some wear and tear. Just this summer, passengers endured a derailed car in Harlem, a stranded train in Manhattan, and a rolling commuter bus in Brooklyn. Fortunately, these events prompted Governor Andrew Cuomo to dedicate one billion dollars to the Metropolitan Transit Authority with a mandate to fix the NYC transportation services.
The Rise of the Bicycle
On the bright side, there are alternative quality transportation services to both the nyc subway and the bus. Today, more than 450,000 people ride their bike in the city each day, and the New York Times estimates that one in five of these cyclists is a commuter. The number of cyclists in New York City has grown by 170,000 since 2005 and is currently outpacing both population growth and employment. Bike-sharing businesses like Citibike have also made it easier for people to access bicycles. Just pay for a bike at one of 600 locations and drop it back off when you’re done.
Things are changing for the better in New York City, and there has never been a better time to relocate. Just this April, it became legal for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate within city limits. This development has the potential to reduce traffic, increase job opportunities, and decrease subway commute times. In addition, taxi cab companies are also rolling out carpooling services with lower fares. These transportation issues shouldn’t deter you from relocating to the big city--they should encourage you to choose your home carefully.