Riders are no longer fleeing the subways and buses. With train speeds up and delays down, the MTA in September notched its fourth straight month of increasing ridership.
"It's cheaper than Uber. It's more convenient at times," rider Chanice Deare said. "I'm relying more on the train and buses lately, because they've been on time, they've been doing what they need to do."
The MTA says daily subway ridership in September averaged 5.7 million people, an increase of nearly 250,000 over September of last year.
Weekend ridership also grew by about a quarter million.
And 34,000 more people are riding buses on an average weekday compared to September of last year.
It is all a positive signal for Andy Byford, who has turned around subway service and made bus operations a greater priority, since taking command of a system in crisis 21 months ago.
Monday was his first appearance since revelations Friday that he had submitted a letter of resignation and then retracted it, following months of tension with Governor Cuomo, who oversees the MTA.
On Monday, Byford did not comment on his letter, and he did not speak to reporters after the MTA meeting.
But he did remark about the improvements in the subway.
"Chair, I hope these results give you, the committee and the board assurance that this team knows what it's doing and given leeway amid the means to do it. We will turn this system around," Byford said.
Subway ridership began slipping as train delays, breakdowns and overcrowding grew.
In 2017, Cuomo declared a state of emergency at the MTA, which is still effect in today.
"I think it is getting better. Trains are going a little faster on the lines that I'm using, they're on time a little bit more," said rider John Cetra. "It's the best way to go. An Uber just takes too long, a taxi is very difficult."
There are now fewer than 30,000 subway delays a month, compared to nearly 50,000 a year ago. And more than 80 percent of trains are on time, versus 64.6 percent two years ago.