UMR Index



Score: 65.9%

Sustainable Mobility


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Score: 51.4%

Public Transit


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Score: 61.6%

Population 20.2 million
Surface area (km2) 9,469
Population-density (people/km2) 2,136
GDP per capita ($) 119,303
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What New York Does Well in Urban Mobility

The city boasts several major multimodal hubs, park-and-ride infrastructure, and allows bikes on public transit. Its balanced modal share across all modes of transport provides the city with multiple levers to address some of its urban mobility challenges. New York received a roughly $7 million grant in 2022 to enable more multimodal options and provide greater access to transit stations to enable more multimodal options and provide more access to transit stations.

New York is a major hub that continues to attract millions of people thanks to three major international airports. Massive investment in facility upgrades should boost international connections and passenger volumes even further.

The city also remains a pioneer in active urban air mobility operations. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, an interstate transit operator, announced in April 2023 an agreement with NASA, a federal space agency, to plan urban mobility flights. Several private air mobility providers also aim to start service in the New York area in the next few years.

Urban Mobility Readiness Index, Sustainable Mobility and Public Transit scores

Challenges and Opportunities for New York’s Transportation System

The implementation of tap-and-go payment technology has streamlined public transit convenience; however, ridership levels are still below pre-pandemic levels. Fare hikes for subway and bus use may hamper efforts to recover ridership.

Low electric vehicle (EV) market share and high traffic levels throughout the city may further challenge ongoing issues with noise and light pollution. Congestion pricing plans for Manhattan’s central business districts may help alleviate some of the pollution if commuters turn to car alternatives.

Dimensions of the Urban Mobility Readiness Index score

How New York Can Improve Its Public Transportation and Sustainable Mobility

While New York is home to a strong public transit system, some residents, in particular those in the outer boroughs, have long walks to stations. To improve station density and connectivity and encourage ridership, the city can add bus routes and stops to help connect residents with the subway lines that service these areas — a cost-effective improvement that would benefit residents. In the long run, adding new subway stations and lines will be key to building out its public transit offering for residents outside of Manhattan, but that effort will be a timely and expensive undertaking.

While many New Yorkers utilize cycling and walking to move around the city, there are relatively few dedicated car-free zones for pedestrians and cyclists. The city can improve its active mobility offering by expanding existing initiatives that close streets for day-long street fairs into longer and more permanent closures. Closing roads to cars would allow mobility to flourish and limit congestion related pollution.

Comparative Urban Mobility Readiness Index scores