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.