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
Subway and Bus $65M 'Fair Fares' Reduction Deals Latest Blow to Transit System  (The City, July 1, 2020)
'At the edge of an abyss': Transit advocates plead with Schumer to get MTA financial aid   (Bronx Times, June 30, 2020)
The Budget Pain: Mayor's Fair Fares Cut Falls Heavily on Lower-Income Transit Riders  (Streetsblog, June 30, 2020)
Transit advocates plead with Schumer to get MTA financial aid   (QNS.com, June 29, 2020)
New Yorkers prepare to venture into subways again   (CNBC, June 8, 2020)
De Blasio announces 20 miles of new bus service for coronavirus reopening  (New York Post, June 8, 2020)
Mayor Creates More Busways — And Makes 14th Street Permanently Car-Free  (Streetsblog, June 8, 2020)
With thousands returning to work, New York City and state at stalemate on mass transit plans  (Politico, June 7, 2020)
Everyone to Mayor: We Need 40 Miles of Dedicated Bus Lanes Now  (Streetsblog, May 28, 2020)
New Push to Let Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens Ride Rails for Less  (The City, May 11, 2020)
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)
Public Statements
NYPIRG Announces Gene Russianoff Retires  (July 24, 2020)
Statement on Resignation of Andy Byford  (January 23, 2020)
Statement on Changes to Access-A-Ride Pilot Program  (November 12, 2019)
Testimony at MTA 9/25 Board Meeting on Access-A-Ride E-Hail Pilot Program  (September 25, 2019)
Statement on the MTA's Draft 2020-2024 Capital Plan  (September 16, 2019)
Statement on Governor Cuomo's Canarsie Tunnel Rehabilitation Plan  (January 3, 2019)
Congestion Pricing Coalition Statement on Governor's 30-Day Amendments  (February 16, 2018)
Statement on Newly Appointed MTA Chair/CEO Joseph Lhota  (June 22, 2017)
Statement on MTA Management Restructuring Plan  (May 15, 2017)
Statement on Governor's Plan to Cut $65 Million in Promised Funds to the MTA  (February 21, 2017)
Statement on the MTA’s Fare Increase Proposal  (November 16, 2016)
Comment on MTA Five-Year Capital Program Proposal  (July 23, 2015)
Statement on Record Ridership  (April 20, 2015)
Statement on MTA Capital Funding  (March 25, 2015)
Response to MTA's Statement on 2014 Subway Report Card  (July 31, 2014(PDF))
New York City Transit Fare Facts  (July 2014)
Group Statement on Scoping of Proposed Rezoning of the Vanderbilt Avenue Corridor  (July 16, 2014)
Statement on Appointment of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg to MTA Board of Directors  (June 20, 2014)
Statement on Mayor de Blasio's East Midtown Zoning Proposal  (May 30, 2014)
Statement on Mayor de Blasios First 100 Days on Public Transportation  (April 29,2014)