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
Is New York’s Subway System Actually Getting Better?  (Vice, October 3, 2018)
Diverse group of NYC activists press state to pass congestion pricing  (Curbed New York, October 2, 2018)
Fix the subway, already: activist groups  (New York Daily News, October 2, 2018)
23 new subway station managers will oversee safety, cleanliness  (amNY, September 25, 2018)
MTA Touts Progress in Fixing Subway but Victory Still Afar  (Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2018)
NYC subway had rush hour delays nearly every day in August  (Curbed New York, September 17, 2018)
Tour de Flushing Comes to Queens — No Yellow Jersey Required  (Queens Daily Eagle, August 15, 2018)
Progressive Pols & Southern Pols Remain At Odds Over Bus Improvements  (Kings County Politics, August 1, 2018)
Transit Advocates Push Mayor on Bus Reforms  (City Limits, August 1, 2018)
Transit advocates unveil new proposal to fix NYC’s bus crisis  (Curbed New York, July 31, 2018)
Frustrated commuters act out 'excruciatingly slow' bus speeds at City Hall  (Metro New York, July 31, 2018)
Advocates call for better bus service citywide  (Bronx News 12, July 31, 2018)
Bus Drivers and Riders Call on Mayor de Blasio to Build 60 More Miles of Bus Lanes  (Streetsblog, July 31, 2018)
NYC Bus Overhaul Needs Boost From De Blasio, Advocates Say  (New York City Patch, July 31, 2018)
Today’s subway meltdown highlights the MTA’s larger communications problem  (Curbed New York, July 30, 2018)
The slowest bus in the city wouldn’t even beat a manatee in a race  (Time Out New York, July 26, 2018)
Straphangers ‘honor’ four Queens bus lines  (Queens Chronicle, July 16, 2018)
Worst bus routes in NYC? M42 the slowest, B12 most unreliable, advocates say  (amNY, July 24, 2018)
We Can’t Tell If the Subway Action Plan Worked, Which Was the MTA’s Whole Idea  (Village Voice, July 24, 2018)
M42 wins 'Pokey' award for slowest city bus  (NY1, July 24, 2018)