Community Organizing for Better Public Transit in New York

The Riders Alliance fights for reliable, affordable, world-class public transit and a more just and sustainable New York.

Help win better public transit for all New Yorkers! Learn more about our current campaigns for reduced fares for low-income riders, an improved city-wide bus network, alternatives for L train riders during the shutdownState funding for public transit, and more. We’re happy to have you on board!

Riders Alliance Gala 2018!

Riders Alliance Gala 2018!
Monday, November 19th
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: Marquee
289 10th Avenue

Featuring an open bar, delicious transit-themed snacks and drinks, a silent auction, a live subway band, hundreds of Riders Alliance members, friends and allies… and you!  RSVP at

Join us to recognize the
~2018 Riders Alliance Gala Honorees~

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson: Long-time transit champion and diehard advocate for Fair Fares—reduced-price MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers;

Gene Russianoff: Staff attorney and chief spokesman for the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, founding board member of the Riders Alliance, and leading advocate for better public transit in New York; and

Riders Alliance Grassroots Team for the Bus Turnaround Campaign: A special honor for our grassroots members and allies who are fighting for better bus service citywide.

To sponsor or attend the Riders Alliance gala, please sign up at And don’t forget: Riders Alliance sustaining members are invited for free!

Thank you for helping to make it a success, and we look forward to celebrating together.

We’re hiring!

The Riders Alliance is currently hiring for three exciting positions: a digital organizer, a field organizer, and part-time canvassers.

Learn more at

we won #FairFares — a huge victory for low-income riders!


I write today with some very important news. I am thrilled to share this with you:

Thanks to your commitment and years of effort, the next New York City budget will include more than $100 million for half-price MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers. In other words, we won Fair Fares!

Please help us thank the elected leaders who responded to our grassroots campaign. Join us on Twitter right now to thank Speaker Corey Johnson, the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio for making Fair Fares a reality. They need to hear from you! Click here to tweet! 

This is a huge deal, not only for the 800,000 low-income New Yorkers who won’t as often be forced to choose between a meal and a Metrocard, but for all of us who are trying to build a fairer and more inclusive city.

Grassroots organizing works. You signed petitions, wrote letters, attended meetings, rallied, called the mayor, recorded videos, spoke to journalists, and courageously came forward to tell your personal stories — all because you shared our belief that our fair city deserves Fair Fares.

This victory was a team effort. We worked hand in hand with our partner Community Service Society, whose groundbreaking research led to the original Fair Fares proposal, and with our Fair Fares coalition of more than 70 community organizations, all of whom helped get the campaign across the finish line.

Fair Fares wouldn’t have happened without powerful grassroots organizing, and it would also not have happened without the leadership of our elected officials. That includes City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who made Fair Fares a top priority in budget negotiations; Mayor Bill de Blasio, who ultimately made the program a reality; 47 other City Council members who endorsed the proposal and pushed for its success; and city-wide elected officials like Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer who joined us from the beginning. And so many more — it really takes a village.

Six year ago this spring, we launched the Riders Alliance with the idea of bringing riders together to do something about transit — an essential public service that so often feels far from the public’s reach. Almost every year, it seemed, the fare would rise, entirely beyond riders’ control.

But next year, because of the incredible campaigning of riders like you, the fare will fall–for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are struggling hardest to get by.

As subway and bus riders, you know that our work together is far from over. This week, we made progress to win a fairer, more inclusive city. Over the last few months, we won new plans to improve subway and bus service.

And now we will continue the fight — in Albany to fund the subway plan and at City Hall to bring the full bus plan to fruition. Elected officials celebrating Fair Fares remarked today about the power of grassroots organizing, but the reality is that they ain’t seen nothing yet. With powerful community organizing and strong collaboration with allies, we’re going to win the billions of dollars we need to fix our transit system for everyone.

Join us today as a member of the Riders Alliance so that we keep growing stronger and winning public transit that works…not just sometimes, but every time, and not just for some of us, but for everyone.


John Raskin
Executive Director

at last, a plan to fix the subway

We have some good news about the subway!

After years of delays, meltdowns, and unreliability, and your ceaseless work to hold our elected leaders accountable, I’m happy to report: there is now, for the first time, an official plan to fix the subway.

We have a crisis. Now we have a plan. And we will do everything in our power in the coming years to make that plan a reality. Help us take this first step by adding your name to our new online petition, demanding that Governor Cuomo lead the way.

Yesterday morning, MTA NYC Transit President Andy Byford presented the new “Fast Forward” modernization plan. The plan is bold, ambitious and necessary. If it happens, it will make our subway more reliable and accessible and our buses faster, improving the lives of millions of New Yorkers every day.

Your tireless advocacy helped make this plan happen. Riders Alliance members rallied outside the Governor’s office, lobbied our elected officials and harnessed millions of riders’ frustrations from the subway platform to Albany.

But the “Fast Forward” plan cannot succeed on its own. It will require commitment from elected leaders, patience from riders, and, most importantly, billions of dollars in fair, sustainable transit funding. We need Governor Cuomo, who runs the MTA, to do the right thing and create a sustainable funding source that will produce the billions of dollars we need to make the MTA’s “Fast Forward” plan a reality.

Take action: will you sign our petition to Governor Cuomo asking him to fund “Fast Forward” now?

And if you’re not a Riders Alliance member yet, please join us today so we have the grassroots power we need to finally #FixTheSubway. Together, we can make it happen.


The Wins on The Bus

In the MTA announced a new Bus Plan to make buses faster and more reliable city-wide. The MTA’s plan endorses all of the recommendations that we and our coalition partners have been organizing for over the past 2 years. As well, Andy Byford specifically credited the Bus Turnaround Coalition for advocating for these changes.

This is a huge step forward for bus riders and proof that grassroots organizing works! Much of our work had targeted the MTA, and under Andy Byford’s new leadership, they really put forward an ambitious plan that would do a lot for more than two million bus riders. Here is a report that explains details.

The bus plan includes:

  • A redesigned bus network by 2021
  • All-door boarding city-wide with new fare payment technology
  • Expanding off-peak service
  • Improved customer experience with new bus maps, digital information screens on buses, & more bus countdown clocks.

Commitment to work with NYC Department of Transportation to expand:

  • Transit signal priority (TSP)
  • Bus lanes, queue jumps, and bus lane enforcement
  • Bus shelters
  • Accessibility at bus stops
  • Stop space balancing

Now we’ll need to make sure Mayor de Blasio is just as committed to improving bus service as the MTA. We’ll work just as hard to make sure the plan really happens and riders see results.

To join the fight, sign our petition to improve bus service city-wide and use our hashtag #busturnaround or #fixthebus.