You’re Invited: 2014 Gala

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RSVP here to get your ticket to the Riders Alliance Gala. And don’t forget: members are invited to come for free. Join us as a Riders Alliance member today for your free ticket!

Mayor Signs Our Transit Benefits Bill

Big news for riders! Mayor De Blasio signed Council Member Garodnick’s new legislation that will help hundreds of thousands of transit riders save money on subway and bus fares with pre-tax transit benefits.

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Riders Alliance member Mimi telling the press what pre-tax transit benefits can do for riders.

Transit benefits make riding the subway and bus more affordable by allowing workers to set aside up to $130 per month in pre-tax earnings to pay for public transit. Council Member Garodnick’s legislation will expand access to these savings by requiring employers of 20 or more people to offer this benefit in New York City.

The Riders Alliance analysis estimates that:

· Council Member Garodnick’s bill would allow an estimated 450,000 new people to take advantage of the transit tax break

· An average New Yorker who makes the median wage could save $443 every year with the transit tax break

· Businesses who sign up save money too: for every employee at the median wage who signs up, businesses can save $103 every year in taxes

· If the bill is signed into law, New Yorkers will keep more than $50 million each year in the local economy instead of spending the money on taxes.

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Thanks to Council Member Dan Garodnick for his leadership and the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign for working alongside us to pass this bill. And special thanks to Riders Alliance grassroots members who worked hard to make this savings a reality for more New Yorkers!

Bus Rapid Transit for Woodhaven Boulevard

More than 879,000 New Yorkers commute over an hour to work–each way. Two thirds of these “extreme commuters” earn less than $35,000 a year.

New Yorkers in every neighborhood need transit options that are affordable, safe and reliable.

woodhaven bus gathering photo4-compressed for webThat’s why we’re pushing to implement Bus Rapid Transit in New York City. With protected lanes and level boarding, BRT will yield faster, safer, more reliable bus service at a fraction of the cost of building new subway routes.

Right now, the city’s Department of Transportation is considering implementing BRT on Woodhaven Boulevard, which suffers from extreme traffic congestion and claims the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in Queens.

Streetsblog is calling this plan the “the most exciting street redesign in the works in New York City right now.” And the Daily News highlights how BRT could significantly speed up travel times for bus riders.

We need your help bringing BRT to Woodhaven Boulevard. We’re organizing bus riders along the route so that their voices can be heard.

Here’s one Woodhaven Blvd. bus rider’s story:

Why we need a better Woodhaven Boulevard:

“As a longtime Queens resident, I have been witnessing the growth and expansion of this borough. But bus service along Woodhaven Boulevard is lackluster, unsafe and unreliable. Local bus service is getting cut and buses get stuck in traffic. Throngs of people get on and off the bus no matter the time of day or night. Woodhaven is underserved and I am tired of it. As a student and working class employee in Queens, I deserve comprehensive public transportation like BRT.”

-Emily December, Woodhaven resident and bus rider

Learn more about Bus Rapid Transit and our diverse coalition of advocates and stakeholders at www.BRTforNYC.com. Contact Jess at jess@ridersny.org to learn more about getting involved in our campaign for BRT on Woodhaven Boulevard.

We won bus countdown clocks!

bus countdown clock rally photo FINALBig news for bus riders: 11 City Council Members and the Brooklyn Borough President approved over $2.8 million to install countdown clocks at bus stops across the city!

Bus countdown clocks are a major step forward in improving the daily commutes of riders in all five boroughs. See details at WNYC, CBS, DNAinfo, NY1, amNY and Metro.

Bus countdown clocks will now be appearing in the following districts:

Bronx:  Fernando Cabrera ($113,000); Andrew Cohen ($40,000)
Brooklyn:  Brad Lander ($240,000); Mark Treyger ($100,000), Borough President Eric Adams ($60,000)
Manhattan: Margaret Chin ($260,000); Dan Garodnick ($950,000); Corey Johnson ($35,000); Ben Kallos ($640,000)
Queens: Eric Ulrich ($180,000); Mark Weprin ($35,000)
Staten Island: Steven Matteo ($200,000)

This victory is testament to the power of organizing: thank you to our grassroots Riders Alliance members who worked alongside our allies in City Council to make this city-wide improvement happen.

Save $ with Pre-Tax Transit Benefits

4-27-14 transit benefits rally photo --patty huttonThe average New Yorker can save $443 every year with pre-tax transit benefits–a hefty savings when the fare keeps going up.

Help us pass Council Member Garodnick’s Affordable Transit Act, which would help hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers access this transit tax break by requiring employers of 20 or more people to offer the benefit to their staff.

It’s a win-win: riders get a break, and employers save money on taxes.

On Sunday, April 27th, we rallied with Council Member Garodnick and transit advocates in support of this legislation. Please see our press release here.

See our report that shows how this important legislation could open up transit benefits to as many as 605,000 New Yorkers who don’t currently receive them.