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

Majority of City Council Backs #FairFares!

On the steps of City Hall, we joined the Community Service Society (CSS) for a big samuelspeakingfairfareswebpageannouncement: 28 New York City Council Members and 29 advocacy organizations have joined our push for half-priced MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers (#FairFares)! See our letter to Mayor de Blasio.

They’re not alone: according to a new poll from CSS, 73% of New Yorkers want to see #FairFares and 62% would be more likely to vote for a mayoral candidate that backs this proposal. Check out our press coverage in the Daily News, amNY, NY1, El Diario, Dnainfo, Streetsblog, and more!

Not surprised that #FairFares is gaining momentum? Neither are we. But it’s up to you to make sure the Mayor gets our message and backs #FairFares in 2017.

Make sure Mayor de Blasio gets our message! Share the new video from CSS featuring Riders Alliance members and the high cost of transit for low-income New Yorkers.  Click to Tweet!


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 www.ridersny.org/buswoes.

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 stephanie@ridersny.org to get involved!


The Riders Alliance fights for reliable, affordable, world-class public transit and a more just and sustainable New York.

New York’s federal legislators must #SaveTransit and protect us from a total collapse of bus and subway service as the Coronavirus threatens to undermine the MTA’s budget. Learn more at savetransit.info

We launched our #FairFares Campaign!


Photo by Riders Alliance member Scott Shaw

Sign the Petition: #FairFares on the Subway and Bus for Low-Income New Yorkers!

On Sunday, April 10th, we stood with the Community Service Society to launch our new campaign for #FairFares for low-income New Yorkers!

All too often, the lowest-income New Yorkers can’t afford their MetroCards, even though they rely on public transportation more than any other income level. Sign our petition for #FairFares!