COVID-19 Response Challenge

How can we make transit safer, healthier and more responsive amid the COVID-19 pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced unprecedented challenges in public transit. As New York recovers and rebuilds, it is vital to reimagine public transit to meet its new challenges. The COVID-19 Response Challenge called for technologies and approaches that help to make New York's public transportation system safer, healthier and more responsive to customer and workforce needs.

See more program results

Challenge Finalists


How the Transit Tech Lab Works

The Transit Tech Lab enables public transit agencies to rapidly test and deploy innovative approaches to address top-priority challenges. As the New York region prepares to reopen, ensuring the safety and health of all who use and run public transit is critical. The Transit Tech Lab's COVID-19 Challenge provided an opportunity for innovative companies to submit their technologies to subject matter experts in transit, health and technology. 



Transit agency participants in the COVID-19 Response Challenge include: 

  • Metro-North Railroad (MTA)
  • Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • New York City Department of Education, Office of Pupil Transportation
  • New York City Department of Transportation
  • New York City Transit (MTA)
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey



Application Deadline: August 19, 2020
Semifinalist Presentations: September 15-17, 2020
Finalist Demo Day: September 18, 2020
Proof of Concept Begins: October 19, 2020
Pilot Starts: February 8, 2021



In addition to transit agency subject matter experts, private sector and public health evaluators for the challenge include:

Reilly Brennan, General Partner, Trucks Venture Capital
Clara Brenner, Managing Partner, Urban Innovation Fund
Kenneth A. Bronfin, Senior Managing Director & Head of International Investments, Hearst Ventures
Kathryn Cleary, Senior Vice President, U.S. Business Development, Mastercard
Nick Grossman, Partner, Union Square Ventures
Hilary Gosher, Managing Director, Insight Partners
Maria Gotsch, President & CEO, Partnership Fund for New York City
Leslie Henshaw, Partner, Deerfield
Dylan Hixon, President, Arden Road Investments
Peter Muennig, Professor, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
Brian Yormak, Partner, Story Ventures



Frequently Asked Questions

Reopening New York: New York State Public Transportation Guidelines (PDF)

WSP Report on COVID-19 Practices (PDF)

More questions? Email


Transit Tech Lab Challenges