(Packed 2:55 p.m. train on the Harlem line leaving Grand Central on Nov. 21, 2012. Photo credit: Michael Kingsley)
More people rode Metro-North Railroad this past Thursday than any other Thanksgiving Day in the railroad’s history, officials announced Monday.
Nearly 83,000 traveled in both directions on Thanksgiving Day, breaking last year’s record high 81,000. The railroad counted passengers during three periods throughout the day on its east of Hudson lines. That included the busy 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. window when people headed to the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.
“It was ideal weather, and it brought people out,” Metro-North spokeswoman Margie Anders said.
On the flip side, cold and windy weather on Saturday likely contributed to the 3 percent decline in the overall number of passengers during the 4-day holiday compared to last year, she said.
Despite that overall drop, the railroad still drew more passengers the day before Thanksgiving than last year. More than 96,000 traveled on outbound trains Wednesday, up three percent from last year. It’s unclear what led to the increase, Anders said.
Thanksgiving Day gave a much-needed boost to the railroad, which saw ridership fall 8.4 percent in October due to Superstorm Sandy, officials said Monday.
In 2010, Metro-North became the busiest commuter railroad in the country, surpassing the Long Island Railroad. Though Metro-North was shutdown for several days during last month’s storm, officials still expect to provide a record-breaking number of rides this year, Anders said.