Home Asides At Columbus Circle, the system’s most popular turnstile

At Columbus Circle, the system’s most popular turnstile

by Benjamin Kabak

As the MTA’s trove of daily data dumps pile up, the Daily News has crunched some numbers to determine the system’s most heavily used turnstile. The winner: one machine at Columbus Circle. According to their research, through August 19, 1,402,766 straphangers had swiped through the turnstile that’s first in row near the entrance by the escalators on the west side of 59th St. That’s over 4000 swipes more than a pair of popular turnstiles at Jamaica Center. A few machines at Times Square and Grand Central round out the top five.

It’s interesting to see how the system’s most popular turnstile is at a station that in 2010 was Transit’s seventh busiest. After all, Times Square sees nearly three times the annual ridership as Columbus Circle. Yet, Times Square has far more entrances and turnstiles than the 59th St. station does. That discrepancy probably explains why this Columbus Circle turnstile has been the 2011 leader in swipes. “This turnstile is situated in a pivotal location in a station complex that supports a high customer volume,” MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said to The News.

You may also like


Matt September 6, 2011 - 12:27 pm

Wasn’t the area around that turnstile also under construction during a good chunk of 2010? That could explain why it ended up so low in the rankings.

SEAN September 6, 2011 - 12:57 pm

Sorry, but I must ask… who cares? There are far more importent things to be concerned about reguarding the transit system than wich turnstyle had the most swipes last year.

Spencer K September 6, 2011 - 1:28 pm

Ben cares. He’s a transit nerd, and silly little tidbits like this apparently amuse him. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s not like he’s stealing something from you.

Benjamin Kabak September 6, 2011 - 1:42 pm

Pretty much this. If every post is a Serious Topic, the site gets boring. Best to break it up with bits of minutiae, history or whimsical nothings.

SEAN September 6, 2011 - 5:39 pm

Sorry Ben, It never occured to me that this was so importent to you. No need to be cut & dry here. I just thaught with your tallents turning this into a forum for not just transit issues, but a place to also solve them & effect positive change as well.

ferryboi September 6, 2011 - 2:47 pm

Somebody went out the house with their crankypants on, and left their spellcheck off today…lighten up Sean, it’s a transit web blog, not the Congressional Record.

SEAN September 6, 2011 - 5:28 pm

Sorry guys, it just went over my head. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t a transit fan & everyday user. It just semes a little out there focusing on a turnstyle when transit nationwide needs all the help it can get. Also who better than BK to bring those issues to life in such an entertaining way with humor & tungue & cheek.

So who says it needs to be like the congressional reccord.

Donald September 6, 2011 - 1:04 pm

I see it’s a slow news day. I can’t wait for the News to report which is the most popular escalator and Metrocard Vending Machine.

SEAN September 6, 2011 - 5:57 pm

The one that works. ! LOL

John September 6, 2011 - 1:47 pm

It’s funny (and sad) to see the comments on the Daily News site. Someone apparently thinks that the roughly $3 million this turnstile has generated should be enough to run the MTA!

Donald September 6, 2011 - 3:13 pm

It’s sad that people are commenting on the Daily News site about an article like this when unemployment is sky high and the country is bankrupt and corrupt.

ferryboi September 6, 2011 - 3:17 pm

So when times are bad, are the Daily News and other newspapers allowed to run only bad news stories? Is there something in the Constitution that says you can only run unemployment and corruption articles?

The turnstile article is called a fluff piece, and newspapers have been running them for about 100 years now. Jesus folks, lighten up…

SEAN September 6, 2011 - 6:17 pm

There was a verry funny film last year called “Morning Glory” with Harrison Ford & Rachel Mcadams. It was a humorous look into TV news & what goes on behind the senes including the fat egos amung the cast & crew. Even the most outlandish parts turn out to be down right histericle. The issue of fluff is a constent runner in the movie.

I haven’t laughed this hard since “Wedding Crashers.” Get it on DVD or on demand you will enjoy it.

Alon Levy September 6, 2011 - 7:44 pm

There’s a real issue with how fluff stories are used to mask social problems. It’s like how Pravda would report cheerful stories of people who symbolized class struggle and produced above quota.

John September 7, 2011 - 9:32 am

I think there’s a wee difference between a party-run newspaper like Pravda and independent papers in the USA.

SEAN September 7, 2011 - 11:47 am

True, but I understand the point above & I figure you do as well. That’s why I mentioned the film “Morning Glory” as a reference point.

SEAN September 6, 2011 - 6:23 pm

Yeah , for a nano second.

John-2 September 6, 2011 - 4:02 pm

West side of 59th Street? Do you mean the west side of Broadway, near the Time-Warner building?

SEAN September 6, 2011 - 6:29 pm

Yes, I believe so. The other entry is a long flight of stairs in the hart of the circle it self clocer to Central Park & Trump International.

Ray September 6, 2011 - 4:32 pm

Thx Ben. As a user of MTA advertising vehicles I find this very interesting. Shared the post with my outdoor agency.

Linkage: Crown Heights Rooftop Ban; Most Popular Subway Turnstile; More! - The Broker Buddy September 6, 2011 - 6:07 pm

[…] illegal? ['stoner] · Downtown vacancies will spike, but it’s only temporary [NYP] · MTA’s most used turnstile is at Columbus Circle station [2nd Ave Sagas] · Local farmers markets suffering after Irene flooding [The Local] · […]


Leave a Comment