The Transit Innovation Partnership and partner agencies Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NJ TRANSIT and NYC Dept. of Education today announced eight finalists for the COVID-19 Response Challenge, a global competition calling for technologies to increase public transit safety and responsiveness in the midst of the pandemic. Selected out of nearly 200 applicants, the eight companies will now implement their innovative solutions across the NYC-area agencies for rapid evaluation. If successful, companies may be chosen for a year-long pilot to deploy their tools at scale.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Transit Innovation Partnership have launched a pilot program that allows blind and low-vision bus riders to use their smartphones to find bus stops and learn of arrival times. With assistance from the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), signs along the M23 SBS bus route display decals that allow for use of a new app.
The NaviLens app, which can be downloaded on Android or iOS devices, uses a cutting-edge algorithm to translate visual signage into audio and allows customers to determine the accurate location and distance to the nearest bus stop, find out when the next bus will arrive, know how crowded the bus is (if the necessary sensor technology is onboard), and be directed onto the bus when it pulls up to the stop.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials today launched the new digital "Live Subway Map,” a first of its kind guide to navigating the subway system in real time. The new map, which allows riders to plan trips more easily by taking into account service changes and seeing train movements as they happen, is the byproduct of an 18 month-long public-private partnership between the MTA, the Transit Innovation Partnership and Brooklyn-based global design and technology firm Work & Co. Currently in its beta phase, the map which can be accessed at map.mta.info, will ultimately replace The Weekender and will serve as the primary interactive means for moving around the subway system.
The ambitious project marks the subway map’s first major redesign in four decades, replacing the iconic design by Unimark International and Michael Hertz Associates seen widely on printed maps today. The Live Subway Map beta merges the best features of the existing printed map with the distinctive “Vignelli” approach of The Weekender by overlaying clear and detailed track routes atop a geographically-correct street grid that becomes more detailed as the user zooms in.
Work & Co designed and developed the web-based digital tool on a completely pro bono basis with the goal of making the lives of New Yorkers easier. Highly customer friendly, the map allows customers to navigate the system in an intuitive and digital way. Customers will no longer have to read through printed station signage to determine how they should travel throughout the system.
In another first, the Live Subway Map beta shows the locations of trains as they move along the system in real time.
Today, the Partnership for New York City submitted the following testimony on the impact of COVID-19 on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and public transportation to the New York State Legislature.
Thank you chairs Kennedy, Comrie and Paulin for hosting this hearing on the future of the MTA in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The Partnership for New York City represents private sector employers of more than 1.5 million New Yorkers. We work with government, labor and the nonprofit sector to maintain the city’s position as the preeminent global center of commerce, innovation and economic opportunity.
A modern and efficient public transit system is essential to our city and region’s economic recovery and future growth. We have continually and actively advocated for federal funding to fill the huge revenue losses the system has experienced due to the pandemic, but so far only a quarter of what is needed has been forthcoming. Without federal action on the $12 billion the MTA says it needs to get through 2021, there is no way the agency can remove itself out of what Chairman Foye has called a “fiscal tsunami.”
Challenge calls for technologies to make public transit safer, cleaner and more adaptive as New York gets back to work
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Transit Innovation Partnership today launched a new “COVID-19 Response Challenge” to engage the private tech industry and rapidly evaluate and deploy innovative technologies that make public transit safer, healthier and more responsive to customer and workforce needs in light of the global pandemic.
"To truly modernize every element of how we run our transit system, you have to look far and wide for new ideas," said Interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg. "That means tapping into the city's robust entrepreneurial and technology scenes and thinking in new ways about how a vital institution like New York City Transit can embrace innovation in everything it does."
New York isn’t exactly known for a speedy procurement process, or for taking chances on granting state contracts to small companies. But when faced with a global pandemic that threatens the future of public transit, fast-moving startups with innovative solutions may be just what the doctor ordered.
The Transit Tech Lab – an accelerator program for technology startups aimed at solving public transit issues – launched a new, coronavirus-specific challenge on Wednesday, which asks for innovative approaches to make public transit safer as riders return to subways and buses. Those proposals could eventually be piloted and implemented with the MTA, as well as with other participating agencies, including the New York City Department of Transportation, NJ Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. "To truly modernize every element of how we run our transit system, you have to look far and wide for new ideas," interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg said in a press release. "That means tapping into the city's robust entrepreneurial and technology scenes and thinking in new ways about how a vital institution like New York City Transit can embrace innovation."
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today launched the ‘Essential Connector’ app to help essential workers plan their alternative travel to or from work during the overnight subway closure from 1 to 5 a.m. Essential workers can use the new app to navigate and take advantage of the MTA’s dramatically enhanced bus service schedule – a 76% increase in overnight trips and 150% boost in the operational fleet – or book an eligible for-hire-vehicle where bus service is not workable at no cost.
The new app supplements the impressive work done by MTA’s internal team to launch the Essential Connector program on May 6, 2020, just days after the overnight closure of the subway was announced. Tapping a station on the new app’s map allows the user to see live bus and train departures, including the last train arrivals of the night and available buses nearby. The app will provide info on current service disruptions and upcoming service changes. Over time the map will become “personalized,” highlighting the stops the user visits most often, making trip planning faster and easier than ever before. Following feedback, the MTA is already working on a second version of the app. The Essential Connector app is now available for download at the Apple App Store or on Google Play.
17 Companies Virtually Demonstrate Cutting-Edge Technology to Re-Signal New York City’s Century-Old Subway System
The MTA and Transit Innovation Partnership hosted the Signaling Challenge Virtual Demo Day on April 2, a digital event in which 17 leading technology companies presented proposals to MTA officials for modernizing New York City’s century-old subway signaling system, via more than 150 video conference presentations and Q&A sessions.
The Virtual Demo Day was part of the MTA and Transit Innovation Partnership’s Signaling Challenge, which is enlisting the world’s top transportation technology innovators to identify ways to make existing subway cars compatible with new signaling technology as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. The progress of this initiative reflects the MTA’s commitment to execute on long-term modernization plans while simultaneously addressing a major public health and service delivery emergency.
Start-Ups to Pilot New Technologies to Make Transportation More Accessible, Reduce Curb Congestion and Provide More Amenities to Transit Customers
The Partnership for New York City’s Transit Tech Lab, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and four other transportation agencies announced today that nine start-up companies have been selected to pilot cutting-edge technologies that could improve accessibility, revenue generation, and traffic congestion for millions of daily travelers in the New York metropolitan area. The agencies joining the MTA in this initiative are the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York City Department of Transportation, NJ TRANSIT and Amtrak.
The Transit Tech Lab is part of the public-private Transit Innovation Partnership and enables the MTA and other public transportation agencies to leverage innovative technology solutions to improve metropolitan area transit, with the aim to make New York the global leader in public transportation.
Selected Innovators Invited to Demonstrate Cutting-Edge Technology at Demo Day March 13
As Part of Historic Capital Plan, MTA to Begin Soliciting Bids in Second Half of 2020 for $7.1 Billion Signaling Modernization Program Unprecedented in Size and Scope
Approximately 100 Companies from Four Continents Attend Symposium and Compete to Accelerate Modernization of New York City Transit’s Signaling System
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Transit Innovation Partnership and Empire State Development today hosted a Signaling Innovation Summit to bring together the best and brightest innovators to accelerate the modernization of New York City’s subway signaling system – a $7.1 billion program unprecedented in size and scope – and improve performance, service reliability and safety for 5.7 million daily customers.
The MTA and the Transit Innovation Partnership also announced a new signaling challenge to identify ways to make existing subway cars compatible with new signaling technology faster and at a lower cost. Selected companies will have the opportunity to present at the MTA and Transit Innovation Partnership’s Demo Day on March 13, 2020.