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
Face Masks and Crowd Control: The Race to Make Your Subway Ride Safer  (New York Times, May 3, 2020)
Transit Watchdogs: Raiding MTA Taxes Will Threaten A Federal Bailout  (Streetsblog, April 30, 2020)
Advocates: MTA Must Redistribute Service To Protect Low-Income, Essential Workers  (Streetsblog, April 8, 2020)
Commuters bemoan Spuyten Duyvil accessibility  (The Riverdale Press, April 5, 2020)
MTA Leads Multiple Agencies in Demanding $25B from Congress  (Streetsblog, March 23, 2020)
MTA in Free Fall: Low Ridership Numbers Could Mean Massive Debt, Cuts  (Streetsblog, March 18, 2020)
M.T.A., Citing Huge Drop in Riders, Seeks $4 Billion Virus Bailout  (New York Times, March 17, 2020)
The NYC Subways' New Tap-To-Pay System Has A Hidden Cost - Rider Data  (The Verge, March 16, 2020)
Comptroller: MTA Debt Could Mean Fare Hikes, Service Cuts  (StreetsBlog, March 12, 2020)
MTA's Andy Byford Leaving Role That May Be Derailed  (The City, February 21, 2020)
Back to the '80s? Graffiti alarms some   (Queens Chronicle, February 20, 2020)
De Blasio's latest MTA pick gets around with a city-funded chauffeur  (New York Post, February 14, 2020)
Byford leaving transit job as head of New York City's subways and buses  (Newsday, January 24, 2020)
BYFORD'S DEPARTURE THREATENS BROOKLYN BUS REDESIGN: ADVOCATES  (Brooklyn Paper, January 24, 2020)
Why Andy Byford's Departure Is So Distressing For NYC Subway & Bus Riders  (Gothamist, January 24, 2020)
NYC Transit Boss Andy Byford Resigns  (NBC4 New York, January 23, 2020)
New York City Transit boss Andy Byford quits after two years on the job  (QNS.com, January 23, 2020)
Andy Byford resigns as NYCT president  (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 23, 2020)
Plan for more cops squeezes subways for cash  (Riverdale Press, January 12, 2020)
'Master Builder' Cuomo Pitches Old Proposal For New 'Penn Station South'  (Streetsblog, January 7, 2020)