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
New Yorkers are spurning public transport for ride sharing  (New York Post, June 17, 2018)
City budget includes $106 million for Fair Fares  (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 12, 2018)
Straphangers, Advocates Take Fight for ‘Fair Fares’ to City Hall Steps  (The Forum, June 7, 2018)
The plan to fix NYC subways already faces an uncertain future because of a political feud  (NY1, May 23, 2018)
E train seat removal pilot’s success tough for MTA to call  (amNY, May 16, 2018)
How Riders Won the Fight for Better Buses in New York City  (City Limits, May 9, 2018)
Community groups want chat with de Blasio over funding discounted MetroCards for the poor  (New York Daily News, May 8, 2018)
The path of the first woman to lead NYC subways  (NY1, May 3, 2018)
This New York City Subway Station Gets Rave Reviews  (Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2018)
Everything We Know & Fear About The Impending L Train Shutdown  (Gothamist, April 26, 2018)
Byford's Big Bus Plan Relies on City, State Cooperation  (Gotham Gazette, April 25, 2018)
London's double-decker buses drafted in to solve New York's gridlock crisis  (Evening Standard, April 25, 2018)
At Long Last, a Plan to Fix New York City’s Buses  (New York Times, April 23, 2018)
MTA Unveils Plans to Overhaul New York City Bus System  (Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2018)
MTA buses could see major changes thanks to Byford’s new Bus Action Plan  (amNY, April 23, 2018)
MTA Unveils 'bus action plan' to completely overhaul bus service  (ABC 7 New York, April 23, 2018)
Even Newer Subway Signals Cause Headaches on F Train  (New York Times, April 15, 2018)
Meet the Brit in charge of fixing NYC's subway  (BBC News, April 8, 2018)
NYC politicians, transit advocates react to Cuomo’s 2019 state budget  (Metro US, April 2, 2018)
New York Taxi Drivers See State Fee as Blow to Battered Industry  (Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2018)