New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority
MTA subways, buses, and railroads provide 2.6 billion trips each year to New Yorkers — the equivalent of about one in every three users of mass transit in the United States and two-thirds of the nation's rail riders. MTA bridges and tunnels carry nearly 300 million vehicles a year — more than any bridge and tunnel authority in the nation.
This vast transportation network — North America's largest — serves a population of 14.6 million people in the 5,000-square-mile area fanning out from New York City through Long Island, southeastern New York State, and Connecticut.
A public-benefit corporation chartered by the New York State Legislature in 1965, the MTA is governed by a 17-member Board. Members are nominated by the Governor, with four recommended by New York City's mayor and one each by the county executives of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Putnam counties. (Members representing the latter four cast one collective vote.) All Board members are confirmed by the New York State Senate.
Chartered by the New York State Legislature in 1965 as the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority (MCTA) it initially was created to purchase and operate the bankrupt Long Island Rail Road. The MCTA changed its name to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in 1968 when it took over operations of the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) and Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority (TBTA), now MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) and MTA Bridges and Tunnels (B&T) respectively. Between 1971 and 1972 it assumed operation of Penn Central's New Haven, Hudson and Harlem commuter rail lines, which were given over to Conrail in 1976 and re-acquired in 1982 and operated as Metro-North Commuter Railroad.
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MTA Bus Operations (BO) is the surface transit department of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York), created in 2008 to amalgamate all bus operations operated by the MTA.
Motor-bus service started in 1905 on the streets of Manhattan. The history of the MTA's bus operations generally follows the history of the New York City Transit Authority, which was created in 1953 by the State of New York to take over operations then operated by the New York City Board of Transportation. As a subsidiary of the New York City Transit Authority, the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority (MaBSTOA) was created in 1962 to take over bus services for the bankrupt Fifth Avenue Coach Company and Surface Transit, Inc.'s routes. Both NYC Bus and MaBSTOA operate service pursuant to a lease agreement with the City of New York. The current system came into being in the mid 2000s following the MTA's assumption of services previously operated by private carriers under contract to the New York City Department of Transportation, the successor to the Board of Transportation. This brought almost all bus transportation in New York City under its control. Completed in 2006, the MTA then moved to streamline its operations through consolidation of management function. Regional Bus Operations (RBO) was officially created in May 2008, however due to the privatization of Long Island Bus in 2012, Regional Bus Operations is now just Bus Operations.
Today, the BO fleet today (which has over 5,900 buses of various types and models for fixed-route service and over 2,000 vans and cabs for ADA Para-transit service) is the largest in North American with an average weekday ridership of 2.69 million a day (846 million annually) on more than 280 local and express routes all over New York City and the city of Yonkers; traveling more than 130,000 miles a day. Bus Operations operates the largest green fleet in the world. In addition, between NYC Transit and the MTA Bus Company, there are more than 1,000 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses in service.
NYC Transit was the first public agency in the world to have a bus fleet 100 percent accessible to customers who use wheelchairs. Every bus is accessible to people in wheelchairs via front or rear-door lifts; some newer buses have low floors that enable customers to enter via front-door ramps. Access-A-Ride Para-transit services are provided by various contractors, using vans owned by the MTA. In Nassau County, the MTA directly operates Able-Ride para-transit service using Nassau County-owned vehicles.
BO is not currently publicly used as a brand and is only used in official documentation. The current public brands are:
MTA Bus Company - The MTA Bus Company was created in September 2004 to assume the operations of seven bus companies that operated under franchises granted by the New York City Department of Transportation. The merging of the companies into the MTA Bus began in January 2005 and was completed in February 2006. MTA Bus is responsible for both the local and express bus operations of the seven companies, consolidating their operations, maintaining current buses, purchasing new buses to replace the aging fleet currently in service, and adjusting schedules and route paths to better match travel demand. MTA Bus operates 46 local bus routes in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens; and 35 express bus routes between Manhattan and the Bronx, Brooklyn, or Queens. It has a fleet of 1,336 buses, which makes MTA Bus the 10th largest bus fleet in the United States and Canada, serving 368,000 riders daily.
MTA New York City Bus (MaBSTOA) - New York City Transit buses, operating under the MTA New York City Bus brand, operate in all five boroughs, employing roughly 4,500 buses on about 200 local and 40 express routes within the five boroughs of New York City.
Department of Subways
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The subway has a daily ridership of more than five million, and an annual ridership close to 1.6 billion. The fleet of subway cars travels almost 345 million miles a year along 660 miles of track, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, although not all routes operate around the clock. NYC Transit Subway serves Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens on 8,279 weekday trips. MTA Staten Island Railway (SIR) serves Staten Island. The New York City Subway is the fourth busiest rapid transit rail system in the world in annual ridership, after Tokyo's, Moscow's, and Seoul's rapid transit systems, and the busiest in the Western Hemisphere.
From the original 28 stations built in Manhattan and opened on October 27, 1904, the subway system has grown to 468 stations, most of which were built by 1930. Their design represents three distinct styles since two private companies the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) and the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation (BMT) and the city-owned Independent Rapid Transit Railroad (IND), built them. The primary difference among the three types of stations is platform lengths. IRT stations have platforms that are 525 feet long; BMT platforms are 615 feet long, and IND platforms are the longest some measuring 660 feet.
The New York City Subway has over 6,000 cars on the roster. A typical New York City Subway train consists of 8 to 11 cars, although shuttles can have as few as two, and the train can range from 150 to 600 feet (46 to 180 m) in length. Trains not in revenue service can be up to 12 cars long. The system maintains two separate fleets of cars, one for the IRT lines (A Division) and another for the BMT/IND lines (B Division). All B-division equipment is about 10 feet wide and either 60 feet-6 inches or 75 feet long whereas IRT equipment is approximately 8 feet-9 inches wide and 51 feet-4 inches long.
Pending legislation would merge the subway operations of MTA New York City Transit with MTA Staten Island Railway to form a single entity called MTA Subways.
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The MTA regional network also includes MTA Long Island Rail Road and MTA Metro-North Railroad, the two busiest commuter railroads in North America.
The Long Island Rail Road is the busiest commuter railroad in North America, carrying an average of 301,000 customers each weekday on 735 daily trains. Chartered on April 24, 1834, it is also the oldest railroad still operating under its original name. Throughout that time, the LIRR has been an essential component of the region's transportation infrastructure, leading to the development of the Long Island communities it serves and providing a gateway to the economic growth of the region. A subsidiary of New York State's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Long Island Rail Road marked its 175th Anniversary in 2009.
The LIRR system is comprised of over 700 miles of track on 11 different branches, stretching from Montauk -- on the eastern tip of Long Island -- to the refurbished Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan, approximately 120 miles away. Along the way, the LIRR serves 124 stations in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, providing service for over 80 million customers each year.
Founded in 1983 when the MTA assumed control of Conrail commuter operations in the states of New York and Connecticut, Metro-North's roots can be traced back to the New York & Harlem Railroad, which began in 1832 as a horse-car line in lower Manhattan. Today, with 384 route miles and 775 miles of track, Metro-North goes to 120 stations distributed in seven counties in New York State--Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester, Bronx, New York (Manhattan), Rockland, and Orange-and two counties in the state of Connecticut--New Haven and Fairfield.
Three main lines east of the Hudson River--the Hudson, the Harlem, and the New Haven -- operate out of Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Two lines west of the Hudson River--the Port Jervis and the Pascack Valley--operate out of New Jersey Transit's terminal in Hoboken, N.J., and connect with service out of Penn Station, NY via the Secaucus Transfer. The Hudson Line extends 74 miles from Grand Central Terminal to Poughkeepsie; the Harlem, 82 miles to Wassaic; and the New Haven, which also has three branch lines--the New Canaan, Danbury, and Waterbury--72 miles to New Haven. The Port Jervis Line runs 95 miles from Hoboken to Port Jervis, with 30 of those miles in New Jersey; the Pascack Valley Line extends 31 miles from Hoboken to Spring Valley, 25 of those miles being in New Jersey. Total square mileage of the service territory is approximately 2,701 miles.
The railroad also manages The Hudson Rail Link feeder bus service in the Bronx, and The Haverstraw-Ossining and Newburgh-Beacon ferries, all of which connect with the Hudson Line and which generated 570,000 riders in 2009.