Author: John Raskin

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.

“Subway Delay Action Kits”: Request your own!

New Yorkers lost 35,000 hours last year in the morning rush due to subway delays. Do something with that time! Turn your frustration into action with the new Riders Alliance “Subway Delay Action Kit” – help turn fellow riders into activists when you’re stuck underground!

Request your own Subway Delay Action Kit at

Governor Cuomo is the key to fixing the subway. He runs the MTA and he plays the dominant role in the budget and legislative process to come up with a long term solution to fix the subway and make sure there is the funding needed to make it happen. The next legislative session starts in January. We’re calling on the Governor to lay out a credible plan to modernize the MTA so we won’t have all these delays and breakdowns and pass a fair and sustainable source of revenue to pay for it. Join us in the fight at!

Community Consensus Proposal for the L Train

With a partial closure set for 2019, we worked with riders and community groups to identify new transit options that will serve riders from Chelsea to Canarsie. Check out our Community Consensus Proposal here! Also take a look at the press coverage we go in: Politico, amNY, and NY1.

A Letter from the Executive Director: We Are A Democracy Organization

To the entire Riders Alliance community-

I usually write to ask you to take action to improve public transit. Today is different. This is more personal.

Looking ahead to the coming years, I feel deep anxiety and uncertainty.

So I wanted to take a moment to explain why we do what we do at the Riders Alliance.

We are known as a transit organization; in reality, we are a democracy organization. Our mission is not only to win better trains and buses; it is to make our city more just, more inclusive, more compassionate, and more sustainable.

That is what public transit can do, and it is why we fight for funding, and for Fair Fares, and for better buses, and for all the other campaigns that have consumed our last few years.

We don’t yet know what the election results will mean for public transit. But we know that our work for better transit is part of the broader struggle: against bigotry, and oppression, and recklessness. For mutual respect, and compassion, and protection from harm.

So to our members, some of whom are feeling unsafe today, I wanted to share two key thoughts:

1) You are the source of our strength. Community organizing is about building democratic power, to hold our public officials accountable to our needs and our values. To the degree that the Riders Alliance can exercise that power in pursuit of justice, it is because all our treasured members have joined together to make it possible.

2) We will stand with you, and together we will be stronger. When New Yorkers are threatened with deportation, or harassment, or isolation, or poverty, it is our job to protect each other, and we take that responsibility seriously.

Public transit connects us and helps us move forward—literally and figuratively. It’s where we see each other and share in the experience of living in this city.

In the coming years, we will continue to work to improve public transit. Not because we love trains, but because we love each other.


John Raskin
Executive Director

Share Your “Woes on the Bus” with Us!

IMAG0556Do you have a story about a time NYC’s buses let you down? Share it with us! Today we’re launching our call for riders’ “Woes on the Bus,” inviting New Yorkers to submit their stories of frustration with bus service on our website at

We’re not just collecting your stories–we’re also trying to fix buses too. If you haven’t seen it, our report, “Turnaround: Fixing New York City’s Buses,” released in July, describes a bus system that is both integral to New York City’s public transit system and, unfortunately, failing the 2.5 million daily riders who use it. If you want to help, join our campaign! Sign our Bus Turnaround Petition in favor to modernize and prioritize our buses here and reach out to our organizer, Stephanie Veras, at to get involved!

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!