Announcing our New Executive Director: Betsy Plum

The Riders Alliance is excited to announce our new Executive Director! Please welcome Betsy Plum, who will bring her extensive experience in advocacy and grassroots organizing to help power the fight for better public transit.

Details here:

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 live 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 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