John Raskin, state Sen. Dan Squadron‘s former chief of staff, has long been interested in transit but found that there were few organizations that allowed New Yorkers to lobby their legislators on local transit matters. So he founded one. His grassroots group, the Riders Alliance, aims to organize residents neighborhood by neighborhood to improve service and increase public investment in transit. “There are millions of people who take public transit every day,” said Raskin. “The trick is organizing them into a political constituency that can win results.” So far, the group has 300 members and hopes to advocate for adding more R train service on the Fourth Avenue corridor, restoring the B37 bus to Bay Ridge and improving service on the G with more free transfers. On Nov. 19, the group will celebrate its launch at the Bubble Lounge in TriBeCa, not far from the Holland Tunnel which reopened after severe flooding from Hurricane Sandy. Raskin hopes the effects of the storm, which caused commuters to hit the roadways and face unbearable commutes, will help motivate New Yorkers to focus on transit matters. “Going a week without public transit made everyone realize how much we depend on subways and buses,” he said.