Metropolitan Transportation Authority
MTA collage
Collage showing the various methods of transport operated by the MTA. The MTA provides local and express bus, subway, and commuter rail service in the New York City area.
Owner State of New York
Locale New York City
Long Island
Lower Hudson Valley
Coastal Connecticut
Transit type Commuter rail
Rapid transit
Number of lines 16 commuter rail routes
26 rapid transit routes
322 bus routes
Daily ridership 8.7 million (2018)
Annual ridership 2.7 billion (2018)
Vehicle count 2,429 commuter rail cars
6,481 subway cars
5,725 buses
This article gets most of its information from Wikipedia. All credit goes to Wikipedia for that information.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is a public corporation responsible for public transportation in New York state, serving 12 counties in downstate New York, along with two counties in southwestern Connecticut. The MTA is the primary agency responsible for the maintenance of the New York City Subway, Long Island Rail Road, and the Metro-North Railroad.

The MTA carries over 11 million passengers on an average weekday systemwide, and over 850,000 vehicles per weekday. The MTA is the largest public transit authority in the United States.


In February 1965, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller suggested that the New York State Legislature create an authority to purchase, operate, and modernize the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). The LIRR, then a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), had been operating under bankruptcy protection since 1949. The proposed authority would also have the power to make contracts or arrangements with other commuter-railroad operators in the New York City area. On May 21, 1965, the legislature chartered the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority (MCTA) to take over the operations of the LIRR. Governor Rockefeller appointed his top aide, Dr. William J. Ronan, as chairman and chief executive officer of the MCTA. In June 1965, the state finalized an agreement to buy the LIRR from the PRR for $65 million. The MCTA made a down payment of $10 million for the LIRR in December 1965, and it had completed the rest of the payment by the next month.

On February 29, 1968, the MCTA published a 56-page report for Governor Rockefeller, and in it, proposed several subway and railroad improvements under the name "Metropolitan Transportation, a Program for Action" (alternatively called the "Grand Design"). The city had already intended to build subway extensions in all four boroughs so that most riders would need at most one transfer to get to their destination. The Program for Action also called for upgrades to the Penn Central railroads as well as to area airports. The Program for Action was put forward simultaneously with other development and transportation plans under the administration of Mayor Lindsay. This included Lindsay's Linear City plan for housing and educational facilities, and the projected construction of several Interstate Highways, many of which were originally proposed by Robert Moses.

The agency entered into a long-term lease of Penn Central's Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven Lines. Before 1968, the Hudson and Harlem lines had been operated by the New York Central Railroad, while the New Haven Line had been part of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. Penn Central continued to operate the lines under contract to the MTA. In April 1970, Rockefeller proposed that the state take over the Hudson and Harlem Lines, and the next month, he signed a bond issue that provided $44.4 million in funding to these lines.[41] Penn Central's operations were folded into Conrail in 1976. The MTA took over full operations in 1983, and merged the lines into the Metro-North Commuter Railroad.


The MTA has the responsibility for developing and implementing a unified mass transportation policy for the New York metropolitan area, including all five boroughs of New York City and the suburban counties of Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester. This twelve-county area make up the "Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District" (MCTD), within which the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance levies a "metropolitan commuter transportation mobility tax". Veronique Hakim is currently the managing director of the MTA.

The MTA considers itself to be the largest regional public transportation provider in the Western Hemisphere. As of 2018, its agencies serve a region of approximately 15.3 million people spread over 5,000 square miles (13,000 km2) in 12 counties in New York and two in Connecticut. MTA agencies now move about 8.6 million customers per day (translating to 2.65 billion rail and bus customers a year) and employ approximately 73,348 workers. The MTA's systems carry over 11 million passengers on an average weekday systemwide, and over 850,000 vehicles on its seven toll bridges and two tunnels per weekday.

Fare Collection


A standard MetroCard.

The subway, buses, and Staten Island Railway charge a single flat fare for each trip, regardless of time or distance traveled. From the MTA's inception until 2003, the agency collected subway and bus fares via a series of small metal tokens. The MTA cycled through several series of tokens throughout the late 20th century. In 1993, MTA started testing the MetroCard, a magnetic stripe card that would replace the tokens used to pay fares. By 1997, the entire bus and subway system accepted MetroCard, and tokens were no longer accepted for fare payment in 2003.

A different fare payment system is used on the LIRR and Metro-North. Both railroads sell tickets based on geographical "zones" and time of day, charging peak and off-peak fares. Tickets may be bought from a ticket office at stations, ticket vending machines (TVMs), online through the "WebTicket" program, or through apps for iOS and Android devices.

In 2017, it was announced that the MetroCard would be phased out and replaced by OMNY, a contactless fare payment system, with fare payment being made using Apple Pay, Google Wallet, debit/credit cards with near-field communication enabled, or radio-frequency identification cards. The announcement calls for all buses and subway stations to use electronic fare collection by 2020. However, support of the MetroCard is slated to remain until 2023. MTA also plans to use OMNY for LIRR and Metro-North.


MTA logo

MTA logo

The MTA operates the following agencies:

Commuter Rail

Rapid Transit




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