About the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign

We fight for safe, affordable, and reliable New York City public transit.

Metro Card

The Straphangers Campaign was founded by the New York Public Interest Research Group at a critical time for New York City transit. By the late 1970s, the City's subways had become unreliable and decrepit. Graffiti covered every car and station. Transit fires and derailments hit record levels. Crime steadily worsened. Ridership plummeted to the lowest level in 80 years. Businesses cited poor transit as a leading reason for moving out of New York. The system had become a symbol of the decline of the City itself.

There has been great progress since then. Today, trains are 20 times more reliable. Ridership has bounced back. Transit crimes, fires, derailments — all have been greatly reduced in the last two decades. In 1997, the transit system started offering free transfers between subways and buses. In 1998, riders received the first fare decrease in the history of the system in the form of unlimited-ride transit passes. As a result, ridership has soared. In 2016, ridership broke records set in the late 1940s.

These improvements didn’t happen by accident. The Straphangers Campaign played a leading role in building a consensus for scores of billions of dollars in new investments in metropolitan transit—through our rider organizing, coalition building, research, reports, and media savvy. Although the fight for better transit is far from over and much more remains to be done, the Campaign is proud of our role in turning around New York City’s transit for the better.

In the News
MTA's Andy Byford Leaving Role That May Be Derailed  (The City, February 21, 2020)
Back to the '80s? Graffiti alarms some   (Queens Chronicle, February 20, 2020)
De Blasio's latest MTA pick gets around with a city-funded chauffeur  (New York Post, February 14, 2020)
Byford leaving transit job as head of New York City's subways and buses  (Newsday, January 24, 2020)
BYFORD'S DEPARTURE THREATENS BROOKLYN BUS REDESIGN: ADVOCATES  (Brooklyn Paper, January 24, 2020)
Why Andy Byford's Departure Is So Distressing For NYC Subway & Bus Riders  (Gothamist, January 24, 2020)
NYC Transit Boss Andy Byford Resigns  (NBC4 New York, January 23, 2020)
New York City Transit boss Andy Byford quits after two years on the job  (QNS.com, January 23, 2020)
Andy Byford resigns as NYCT president  (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 23, 2020)
Plan for more cops squeezes subways for cash  (Riverdale Press, January 12, 2020)
'Master Builder' Cuomo Pitches Old Proposal For New 'Penn Station South'  (Streetsblog, January 7, 2020)
It's time to reopen all those closed subway entrances  (Brooklyn Eagle, December 19, 2019)
Elected officials and public transit advocates oppose MTA's $249 million proposal for subway patrol   (Bronx Times, December 19, 2019)
MTA Plan To Put Hundreds Of Police Officers In Subway System Sparks Funding Fight  (CBS New York, December 17, 2019 )
Report: The Best & Worst Of NYC Transit Over The 2010s  (Gothamist, December 12, 2019)
Reform groups demand congestion pricing board comply with open meetings law  (New York Post, November 15, 2019)
Which bus routes could be the next 14th Street?  (City & State, October 30, 2019)
Church Avenue Dedicated Bus Lanes Looking Good on First Day in Operation  (Bklyner, October 23, 2019)
The MTA plans to drop 400 Bronx bus stops, and few people are complaining  (Pix11, October 22, 2019)
Cursed High-Tech Subway Signal System Slated for Pricey Replacement  (The City, October 21, 2019)