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
Finish the job! Transit advocates rally in Queens for bus lane completion  (AM New York, October 22, 2020)
Finally, a Subway Map With Real-Time Train Locations and Delays  (The New York Times, October 21, 2020)
DOT Hopes South Bronx Bus Service Will Speed Up With New Dedicated Lanes, Camera Enforcement  (Gothamist, October 11, 2020)
As City Reopens, De Blasio’s ‘Better Buses’ Plan Stuck in Traffic  (Gotham Gazette, September 11, 2020)
Fare hikes, service cuts on horizon for MTA unless federal funding comes through  (Amsterdam News, September 10, 2020)
MTA Will Issue $50 Fines To Riders Who Don't Comply With Mask-Wearing Rules  (Gothamist, September 10, 2020)
Surface Transportation Council Members Break Ranks To Demand COVID Recovery Plan  (Streetsblog, September 2, 2020)
Mayor de Blasio slammed by members of his own transportation advisory panel  (NY Daily News, September 2, 2020)
Community Dialogues: Straphangers Campaign  (WFUV, August 28, 2020)
A Round and a Roundy: The MTA’s ‘Parade of Horribles’  (A Round and a Roundy: The MTA’s ‘Parade of Horribles’ Streetsblog, July 23, 2020)
New York City Is Getting 20 Miles Of Bus Lanes & Car-Free Busways  (Clean Technica, July 2, 2020)
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)
Public Statements
Testimony at Joint Legislative Hearing on Impact of COVID-19 on the MTA  (August 25, 2020)
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)