In its materials for Monday’s Transit Committee meeting (PDF here), the MTA Board has released its preliminary numbers for the 2009 ridership totals. Later in the week, I’ll offer a more complete look at the numbers, but the initial figures show a very popular subway system. Despite a down economy and high New York job loss totals, Transit’s overall farebox revenue total came to $3.1369 billion last year, just $2.1 million less than the agency’s final estimate. The average fare across subways and local buses came to a hair under $1.40, and Transit saw 2.31 billion trips in 2009, just 63.5 million (or 2.7 percent) fewer than in 2008 and the second highest total ridership since 1969. For all of the MTA’s troubles, 7.4 million people per weekday rely on the authority to get them around New York City, and as the agency fights for its fiscal future, that’s not a number we should ignore.