John Raskin, Executive Director, is an organizer and political leader with extensive experience in New York City and State politics. Prior to co-founding the Riders Alliance, he served as chief of staff to New York State Senator Daniel Squadron. Prior to that, he worked for five years as a community organizer and director of organizing for Housing Conservation Coordinators, an affordable housing advocacy organization on the West Side of Manhattan.
Big news for bus riders: 11 City Council Members approved almost $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 City Council districts:
Bronx: Fernando Cabrera ($113,000); Andrew Cohen ($40,000)
Brooklyn: Brad Lander ($240,000); Mark Treyger ($100,000)
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.
Mayor-elect de Blasio has promised 20 Bus Rapid Transit routes to help beleaguered commuters.
Thank you to all our members for a fantastic 2013.
For an organization that’s only 18 months old, we’ve already made great strides.
This year alone, we won:
• 25% more G trains throughout the afternoon and evening;
• Buses that run earlier, later and more often on the Astoria and Long Island City waterfront;
• Station improvements for N and Q train riders; and
• Additional services for riders affected by the R and G train tunnel construction. Continued…
Please join us for the Riders Alliance 2013 Gala, a fun opportunity to celebrate the progress we’ve made and prepare for the coming year. RSVP today to join the party!
Riders Alliance members speak at a rally celebrating station improvements in Queens.
It’s been a big summer of victories for the Riders Alliance!
We won a better G train that will improve service for more than 100,000 riders. We won more express buses and trains on nearby lines while the R and G tunnels are closed for Sandy repairs. We won more frequent and reliable bus service along Astoria and LIC’s waterfront. We advocated for “50 Fixes” on the N and Q trains in Astoria, and the MTA used our members’ list to go through stations, fix staircases, add lights and replace missing signs.
We rallied, wrote an op-ed in the Daily News, and worked with elected officials and mayoral candidates to push the MTA to invest a small surplus in restoring and increasing transit service. Then, when the MTA approved its preliminary budget for 2014…it included $18 million for more new and restored service!
These are valuable steps for transit riders that were made possible by the work of our grassroots members, local elected officials, and community allies. There is more we need to do, and by becoming a member today, you can help us get there. It’s how we’ll improve transit over the long term—by building our organization from the bottom-up, and winning the funding, attention and investment required to build a 21st century transit system for all New Yorkers.
Riders Alliance member (and R train rider) David Greenberg advocates for a plan to accommodate riders during extended R and G train tunnel construction.
When the MTA announced plans to close the R and G train under-water tunnels for repairs–but not a good plan to accommodate riders during 14 months of construction–Riders Alliance members sprang into action.
We worked with the Straphangers Campaign and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz to form the Subway Tunnel Closure Working Group…and by the end of June, 17 elected officials from all over Brooklyn wrote jointly with us to the MTA, pushing for a plan to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of subway riders who will have longer, more crowded commutes during this extended period of tunnel construction.
See below for our complete press release, and stick with us as we continue to push for a real plan to be in place before the R train tunnel closes in August.