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.

We Passed Congestion Pricing. Now Let’s Fix The Subway!

We just won congestion pricing and $25 billion in new funding for our transit system in the state budget. Now we need to use the money to fix the subway. New, modern signals, station elevators, and train cars must be the MTA’s top priority!

Governor Cuomo and the MTA must put the new funding to work in the upcoming MTA Capital Plan! This is the 5 year plan showing how the MTA will spend money on building and improving the system.

The plan is due this fall. Riders need to see a plan that will fix the subway. We need our State Senators and Assembly Members to hold the MTA and Governor accountable, and make sure the congestion pricing revenue does what it was intended to do.

Speak up here and contact your state legislators today.


Riders needed to win state funding to fix the subway. We won much of what we needed, including a historic congestion pricing program. With other taxes, this budget will raise over $1 billion per year and allow the MTA to finance $25 billion in crucial upgrades. The budget also reforms the MTA to promote efficiency, transparency, and accountability.

The Governor and Legislature Passed a Comprehensive Transit Funding Plan
• Congestion Pricing aka Central Business District Tolling (60% of the total plan)
• Mansion Tax on Property Sales Over $2 Million (20% of the total plan)
• Internet Sales Tax on Purchases from Amazon, Etsy, etc. (20% of the total plan)

Congestion Pricing Will Start in 2021 and Raise $15 Billion for MTA Upgrades
• Congestion pricing will fairly charge drivers, who are wealthier than transit riders and have other options, and ease traffic while reducing air pollution and dangerous collisions
• Beginning in 2021, cars and trucks will pay a toll to drive in Manhattan south of 60th Street and between the FDR Drive and West Side Highway
• Exemptions will cover emergency vehicles, people with disabilities and low- income drivers who live inside the congestion zone
• Further decisions about the exemptions and possible credits against other
tolls will be made by the MTA on the recommendation of a new Traffic Mobility Review Board
• Per the budget, congestion pricing must raise $15 billion, or roughly $1 billion each year

The MTA’s Initiatives and Increased State Funding are Already Delivering for Riders
• Speeding up subway service and reducing the number of train delays
• Redesigning bus networks in the Bronx and Queens to provide better service
• Reversing some recent and planned cuts in bus service
• Offering riders 20% discounts on LIRR fares from areas of Queens without
subway service

This year’s historic budget is the biggest victory yet in the Riders Alliance’s effort to hold our elected officials accountable for improving public transit.

Download PDF of information above here.
Vea una copia en PDF de la información aquí.

Riders Alliance Gala 2019!

Riders Alliance Gala 2019!
Monday, November 18th
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!  Stay tuned for more details!

To sponsor or attend the Riders Alliance gala, please email 

We’re hiring!

Three positions are currently open: Executive DirectorTemporary Development and Event Assistant and Part Time Canvasser

Learn more at

“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!