Anatomy of a Subway Meltdown

If you follow me on Twitter or read my last post, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t taken kindly to the notion that Uber and other car sharing services are somehow responsible for the decline in subway service. To me, that’s attacking the symptom and not the disease. Yes, it’s true that there has been a slight decline in Subway ridership, but that’s because there has also been an admitted decline in Subway service, especially on the weekend, where the dip was significant (Weekday service is actually higher than ever).

Ironically, the day after my post on the subject, I was given the unfortunate opportunity to document what a such a decline looks like from the perspective of a frequent rider.

Below is an annotated photo essay. In the notes section I’ll briefly explain the problem, the cause ,and what (if anything) is being done about it.

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Don’t Blame UBER for Decline In Subway Ridership

In 2016, something remarkable happened. The New York City Subway experienced a slight decline in ridership. The nation’s busiest subway (by far) went from 1.762 billion rides in 2015 to 1.756 billion rides in 2016, about a .3 percent dip. The drop has the New York Times and Transit chairman Fernando Ferrer opining about the rise of car sharing services like UBER. Out of context, a slight decline of .03% shouldn’t be cause for concern, that’s about six million rides; one day’s worth of trips. With context, however, New York’s transit system is on the brink of either glory of disaster.

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5 Reasons Why I Bet on Bikes

When I announced that I was leaving my position at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership to build a scaleable, secure bike parking solution, I got more than a few blank stares. “The market for cycling isn’t big enough,” was the refrain I heard again and again. One successful CEO told me that New York had a “long way to go” before it was like Amsterdam. Even some bike advocates expressed a degree of skepticism; cycling, for the most part, is still seen as a mostly recreational activity.

Conventional wisdom subscribers are missing a key opportunity. Here are five reasons why:

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