To ride the subway during rush hour in New York City is to forgo any semblance of personal space. In the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak — with businesses and offices closed and social distancing in full swing — those fortunate enough to have the ability to work from home are also fortunate enough to bypass the dangers of a crowded train.

Essential workers and those who can’t afford to quarantine are braving the subway and risking their lives, potentially exposing themselves to the virus. And while there are fewer riders, there are also fewer trains to accommodate them. With ridership down, the MTA is running on reduced service.

Thinknum has started tracking MTA ($MTA) entrances and exits to monitor ridership as we descend in and out of this pandemic. On the above chart, the average number of subway card swipes continues to rise on weekdays, alternating between 43.5 million and 43.6 million.

“Subway ridership in Manhattan fell around 75 percent,” the New York Times reported yesterday. “While ridership in the Bronx, which has the highest poverty rate of any of the boroughs and the lowest median income at $38,000, dropped by around 55 percent.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the police will enforce social distancing on trains and force people off crowded subway cars. Of course, this only brings forth a new set of complications and blind spots.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: