Subways ridership has crept up since New York City began reopening on June 8, but remains down about 89% from a year ago, according to figures published in June by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Turnstile entrances topped 1 million every day during a week in late June for the first time in three months.

New Yorkers are getting back on the subway, driving around a lot more, and just beginning to fill up many of the city’s outside dining areas, data showed after the first week of its latest phase of reopening.

Driving is edging toward normality. Traffic on bridges and tunnels was down only an average of 20% the week ending June 27, compared to the same time last year, while vehicular traffic on three of the four East River crossings approached normal levels. Congestion is now about 35-45% less than last year’s previous average, according to data from TomTom.

The numbers suggest that New York, formerly the center of the nation’s Covid-19 outbreak with almost 400,000 cases and almost 25,000 dead, is carefully approaching recovery.

Phase 2 of reopening began in late June in New York, allowing restaurants to transform sidewalks and streets into dining areas. OpenTable, the restaurant reservation company, showed dining last week registered modest gains – about 20% of what they were a year earlier.

Almost 6,000 of the city’s roughly 25,000 restaurants had reopened with outdoor areas, the city’s transportation department reported.

Phase 3 was supposed to add a limited return to indoor dining, but that plan was stalled due to surges in new hotspots like Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California.

Meanwhile, commuting into the city appears to be rising, now that some offices and retail stores are permitted to open at reduced capacity.

Ridership at 34th Street-Herald Square recorded the biggest increase among top stations, up 46% from the first week of reopening. PATH trains, which travel to New Jersey, rose by 33% compared to the first week of reopening. Penn Station, which serves the Long Island Railroad and Amtrak, recorded a similar increase.

Source: Crain’s New York Business

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