Miscellaneous Press Releases

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Riders Alliance Statement on Snowstorm Subway Closures: “The MTA Made the Right Choice”

On Saturday, January 23rd, a historic blizzard led the MTA to modify service on the subway system, suspending service to above-ground stations. As of Sunday, some modified service is still in effect. In response, the Riders Alliance released the following statement:

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“Riders feel the pain when subway service is suspended, but it’s a lot better than getting stranded between stations because of ice on the rails,” said John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance. “Closing public transit is a high-stakes decision, especially for people who have no choice but to go to work even in a blizzard. In this case, the MTA was able to keep subways running for as many people as possible while keeping people safe. In a no-win situation, the MTA made the right choice.”


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Statement by Riders Alliance Executive Director on MTA Board Approval of 2015-2019 Capital Program

Today, the MTA Board of Directors announced their approval of the 2015-2019 Capital Program. In response, the Riders Alliance released the following statement by Executive Director John Raskin:

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“This is a step toward real relief for subway and bus riders. When the capital plan is approved in Albany, the MTA can finally get started buying new subway cars and buses, installing modern signal technology and bringing countdown clocks to more subway lines. The final step will be for Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio to follow through on their commitments and invest the money necessary to make these improvements without burdening riders with higher fares. Subway and bus riders will be watching carefully to make sure all the promises come true.”


October 9, 2013

Riders Alliance Hosts One-Night Pop-Up SoHo Art Show: “100 Ways to Improve the Subway”

Attendees Vote on Favorite of 100 Ideas; Top Ideas Submitted to MTA

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New York, NY—The Riders Alliance, a grassroots organization of subway and bus riders, hosted a one-night-only pop-up art exhibition at a downtown SoHo gallery yesterday, featuring artist Randy Gregory II’s viral Tumblr hit “100 Ways to Improve the Subway.” The event, held at the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art, was supported by the Bronx Brewery and Manhattan Proper. The event generated a lot of interest among New Yorkers, with hundreds gathering to discuss making mass transit in New York more accessible, affordable and convenient. Guests were invited to submit their own ideas and voted for their favorite subway improvement ideas at the event.

John Raskin, Executive Director of the Riders Alliance, said of the event, “There are eight million New Yorkers, and everyone has ideas for how to improve the subway. We want to showcase that sort of citizen activism and show that grassroots contributions really do trickle up and get listened to.”


The three favorite subway ideas at Tuesday night’s opening were:

1)     Putting USB ports in subway cars so riders can recharge electronic devices

2)     Replacing Metrocard swipes with a modern, contactless system

3)     Harnessing wind power from oncoming trains


The Riders Alliance will share these winners with the MTA.

Tuesday’s art exhibition was supported by the Bronx Brewery, which donated Bronx Pale Ale, and by Lower Manhattan bar Manhattan Proper, which contributed wine.


Photos from the event are here.


Randy Gregory II, the artist, said, “100 Ways to Improve The Subway is an innovative way to show that idea generation can really help change our transit experience. The exhibition that Riders Alliance put on was a fantastic example of how innovation can capture an audience, and energize a community to act.”

The Riders Alliance organizes subway and bus riders to advocate for their own needs—with the MTA, in the press, and with elected officials who make important decisions about transit funding and policy.  Recent victories include winning 25% more G train service in the afternoon and evening, adding service to buses that serve the Astoria and Long Island City waterfront, adding services to accommodate subway riders while the R and G train tunnels are closed for construction, and helping push successfully for an additional $18 million for transit service in the MTA’s 2014 budget.

These victories and current campaigns will be featured at the Riders Alliance’s 2013 fall gala, which will take place on Monday, November 25th at 6:30 p.m. at M1-5 Lounge in Tribeca.