Press Releases

Press Release #16-054
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Scott Gastel/Jose Bayona (212) 839-4850

NYC DOT Releases Mobility Report that Captures Changing Transportation Trends in Rapidly Growing City

New York City’s dramatic growth in population, employment, and tourism were largely served by mass transit, walking, and cycling – not by an increase in street traffic

Report combines traditional and new data sources, including MTA Bus Time, Taxi GPS, and Citi Bike data, to provide a broad, comprehensive picture of the city and the challenges it faces to keep moving and thriving.

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg today released the NYC Mobility Report, a detailed look at the primary drivers of transportation demand in New York City – population, tourism, and employment – alongside key data on vehicle, bicycle, and transit ridership. The report offers a thorough examination of the relationship between broader economic and demographic trends and the City’s transportation system.

“With record tourism, jobs and population growth, New York City is now experiencing packed subway trains, along with a 300% surge in daily bicycling since 1990,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “The report’s conclusions are clear: as we move forward, policy makers will need to redouble our efforts to chart a course that supports mass transit and other options to keep a growing and thriving New York City moving.”

Putting change in context, the report summarizes the significant transformations that have occurred over the last five years. Specifically, in 2015 there were:

  • 370,000 more New York City residents, 520,000 more jobs, and 10 million more tourists than in 2010.
  • 45,000 fewer vehicles entering Manhattan’s Central Business District on weekdays than in 2010.
  • 159 million more subway trips taken than in 2010.
  • 190,000 more daily cycling trips than in 2010.

NYCDOT has served this growth and vitality by: enhancing the pedestrian environment, including through the growth of pedestrian plazas; expanding bike share and the bicycle network; improving surface transit via the MTA’s Select Bus Service; and utilizing new technology to better manage vehicular flow in congested areas of the city. However, the downside to the City’s growth has been a 12% decline in traffic speeds in Manhattan south of 60th Street, and average bus speeds have fallen by 2% citywide.

In the Midtown Core, defined as the 1.8-square-mile area bounded by the East River and Ninth Avenue from east to west and by 59th and 35th streets north to south, the report shows taxi speeds are 37% slower than those in the rest of Manhattan south of 60th Street. Comparing Citi Bike and taxi trips in this area, the report found that for trips beginning and ending in the Midtown Core, the bike share option proved to be at least 2 mph faster and $6 cheaper than taxis. The report highlights that despite these slower speeds, an average of nearly 1,600 taxi trips an hour both start and end within the Midtown Core – nearly 10 times the number of trips taken by Citi Bike riders.

“As New York City grows, so must we in striving to provide affordable, safe and efficient transportation options for all,” said NYC Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez. “This means substantial investments in mass transit, with the accountability to match; expansions in our popular bike share network to all five boroughs; and policies that cut down on congestion and keep our streets safe for all users. This great report by the Department of Transportation shows that we are moving in the right direction in some areas but lagging in others. We must keep expanding and fortifying our transportation networks, planning not for today but for twenty to thirty years from now, in order to maintain New York City’s place as a global hub for so many.”

“The data show a staggering subway usage increase -- 159 million more trips than there were five years ago. What this means is that our city is thriving, but to keep pace with that growth we need to dramatically invest, as a region, in building infrastructure and expanding mass transit capacity,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "We can start immediately by adding new Select Bus Service routes, particularly cross town, to help reverse the disturbing drop in bus ridership we've witnessed over the last five years."

"This report is further proof that Citi Bike is an affordable, convenient new mobility option; something that our tens of thousands of daily riders already know," said Jay Walder, President & CEO of Motivate. "Bike share is quintessentially New York; it helps you get there faster, cheaper and on your own schedule."

The preparation of the report was financed through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Highway Administration.

For more information on the Mobility Report please visit