around 5 pm on Thursday at LIRR Passage to Penn StationThe crowd gathered and waited under the Seventh Avenue track board. As the trains stopped, office workers ran over the platform, anxious for a good seat—just like the good old days.
After nearly two years, travelers are flocking back into the city. The city that was previously desolate is coming back to life. Trains are full and stations are crowded. last monday, LIRR saw an estimated 158,200 passengers, more than triple the number of passengers the previous Monday. Metro-North Railroad also saw a huge jump, with 148,200 riders running last Monday compared to just 63,900 of its predecessor.
“Oh my gosh, passenger numbers have been booming lately,” said Farmingdale resident Mike Guthe, who has been traveling to his office at the Jersey City Port Authority three times a week since the summer. “A month or so ago the place wasn’t that crowded, but now I’m seeing more people on LIRR with me week after week.”
Long Beach traveler Laurie Kesiki Thorne, 59, who has been working downtown four days a week as a finance officer since September, has noticed the increase in trains and at local businesses.
“Next to my office I see more takeaways, bars and restaurants crowded lately. I’ve noticed this in the past two to three weeks, which is the time when my train started getting crowded as well,” Kesiki Thorne told The Post, adding that she had seen people smile more while they were in Manhattan.
Business owners are grateful for the returning crowd.
“We had a lot of office workers during lunch breaks again. That was a huge part of our job,” Nicholas Satchel, Pizza Superma in New York, Pizza Superma on Eight Avenue near Penn Station, told The Post. “Every day it gets better and better, especially in the last two or three weeks.”
Even those working at work are seeing a slight uptick, and are adjusting their hours accordingly.
Today and on certain days like, ‘Oh, New York! “There is some movement,” guitarist Scott Stinton told The Post. He was playing around Penn Station during rush hour Thursday afternoon and said he will likely start playing more passenger positions in the coming weeks.
On a good day, he’ll make $40, happy with the larger crowds, although accompanying guitarist Robert Block acknowledged that “people have been more generous during the deep pandemic.”
Will Chiarucci, a construction worker who commutes from Bellmore, LI, to the Hudson Yards has also seen the good and the bad with the returning crowds.
“Once I walk to and from work through Midtown I can tell the energy is back and people want to come back here again,” she said excitedly. “I’ll miss the extra legroom I had on the train last year, but I’m sure I’m glad to see the city come back.”
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