About the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign

We fight for safe, affordable, and reliable New York City public transit.

Metro Card

The Straphangers Campaign was founded by the New York Public Interest Research Group at a critical time for New York City transit. By the late 1970s, the City's subways had become unreliable and decrepit. Graffiti covered every car and station. Transit fires and derailments hit record levels. Crime steadily worsened. Ridership plummeted to the lowest level in 80 years. Businesses cited poor transit as a leading reason for moving out of New York. The system had become a symbol of the decline of the City itself.

There has been great progress since then. Today, trains are 20 times more reliable. Ridership has bounced back. Transit crimes, fires, derailments — all have been greatly reduced in the last two decades. In 1997, the transit system started offering free transfers between subways and buses. In 1998, riders received the first fare decrease in the history of the system in the form of unlimited-ride transit passes. As a result, ridership has soared. In 2016, ridership broke records set in the late 1940s.

These improvements didn’t happen by accident. The Straphangers Campaign played a leading role in building a consensus for scores of billions of dollars in new investments in metropolitan transit—through our rider organizing, coalition building, research, reports, and media savvy. Although the fight for better transit is far from over and much more remains to be done, the Campaign is proud of our role in turning around New York City’s transit for the better.

In the News
In Major Cities, African Americans Have to Put Up With Especially Long Commutes  (Alternet, December 12, 2017)
Gov. Cuomo urged to sign law doubling free transfers on pay-per-ride MetroCards  (Daily News, December 12, 2017)
RPA plan to shut subways at night draws fire  (Crain's New York Business, November 30, 2017)
MTA taps Andy Byford as new NYC Transit president  (amNY, November 21, 2017)
Transit plan: End overnight subways to speed up repairs  (ABC News, November 30, 2017)
The Bus Bill  (Manhattan Times, November 22, 2017)
MTA taps Andy Byford as new NYC Transit president  (AM New York, November 21, 2017)
In the Best of Times, the Worst of Rides  (The New York Times, November 16, 2017)
The Subway Might Seem Crowded, But Ridership Is on the Decline  (WNYC, November 16, 2017)
A Roadmap to the Transit Issues Facing the Next City Hall  (City Limits, November 1, 2017)
What transit meltdowns in New York and Washington reveal about government’s ability to solve problems  (CNN, October 27, 2017)
End the awful political gridlock, put the right price on bridges and tunnels  (Daily News, October 24, 2017)
MTA tests locking up seats on L trains during rush hour  (NY1, October 24, 2017)
MTA Will Test Fold-Away Benches To Cram More People Onto Your L Train  (Gothamist, October 6, 2017)
MTA to add more space on L line by retrofitting train cars with fold-up seats  (Daily News, October 5, 2017)
Accessibility for disabled riders a huge problem on the subways, advocates say  (NY1, September 29, 2017)
Assembly members call for bus service improvements  (Times-Ledger, August 25, 2017)
Pols to MTA: Don\'t forget the buses  (Queens Chronicle, August 24, 2017)
New York's Oldest Subway Cars, Beautiful Symbols of a Sad Decline  (The New Yorker, August 21, 2017)
Transit Advocates Say NYC's Missing Out on a "Quick Win" With Buses  (Next City, August 17, 2017)