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
Accessibility for disabled riders a huge problem on the subways, advocates say  (NY1, September 29, 2017)
Informed Archives: The Straphangers Campaign and the NYC Subway System  (The New York Public Library Blog, August 29, 2017)
Transit advocates fume over 'Cuomo Tax' to fund nuke plants  (New York Post, August 26, 2017)
Assembly members call for bus service improvements  (Times-Ledger, August 25, 2017)
Pols to MTA: Don\'t forget the buses  (Queens Chronicle, August 24, 2017)
New York's Oldest Subway Cars, Beautiful Symbols of a Sad Decline  (The New Yorker, August 21, 2017)
Transit Advocates Say NYC's Missing Out on a "Quick Win" With Buses  (Next City, August 17, 2017)
Cuomo considering congestion pricing  (Queens Chronicle, August 17, 2017)
MTA, DOT efforts to improve bus service receive poor marks from advocates  (Curbed New York, August 15, 2017)
Advocacy groups rate MTA, DOT poorly in new quality report  (Bronx News 12, August 14, 2017)
Cuomo Takes Charge And Goes Down Into The Subway To Point At Problems  (Gothamist, August 10, 2017)
Elected officials to ride subways for 24 hours  (Amsterdam News, August 3, 2017)
NYC Lawmakers Embark On 24-Hour Riders Respond Transit Tour  (CBS Channel 2, August 3, 2017)
MTA boss rolls out more than $800M plan to revive degrading subway system that targets faulty signals, bad tracks  (Daily News, July 26, 2017)
MTA releases Joe Lhota's reorganization plan to fix subway  (AM New York, July 25, 2017)
MTA's fix for overcrowded subways - tear out the seats  (New York Post, July 25, 2017)
MTA unveils multibillion-dollar plan to save the subways  (NY 1, July 25, 2017)
$800 Million Subway Rescue Plan Adds Cars and Subtracts Seats  (The New York Times, July 25, 2017)
City releases its own subway turnaround plan ahead of MTA's  (AM New York, July 24, 2017)
MTA subway riders call for end to endless delays and dysfunction  (WABC Channel 7, July 24, 2017)