May 24, 2022

Regional Transportation Agencies Pilot Innovative Tech to Restore Confidence in Public Transit and Meet Clean Energy Goals

Today, the Transit Tech Lab announced ten finalists for the COVID-19 Recovery and Environmental Sustainability challenges, a global competition calling for technologies to improve public transit safety and meet clean energy objectives. Selected from nearly 150 applicants, the ten finalists’ solutions will use emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision and LiDAR to improve the public transportation experience for millions of people in the tri-state area.

The companies chosen will test their solutions over an 8-week period with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and NJ TRANSIT.

The first COVID-19 Response Challenge was launched by the MTA and Transit Innovation Partnership in 2020 and led to eight productive collaborations with the MTA, the Port Authority and NJ TRANSIT. The call for applications for this year’s COVID-19 Recovery and Environmental Sustainability challenges launched in January 2022, with the goal of ensuring customers and employees feel safe, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making transit more responsive to the needs of New Yorkers.  

The 2022 COVID-19 Recovery finalists are:

Company: Blyncsy (Salt Lake City, UT)
Technology: Catalogues roadway infrastructure and conditions, including pavement markings, obstacles, and roadway deterioration to facilitate maintenance. 
Primary Partner Agency: PANYNJ, NJT

Company: Clarifai (New York, NY)
Technology: Uses machine learning and computer vision software to identify track intrusions, unsafe behavior in stations, and passenger flows.
Primary Partner Agency: PANYNJ, NYCT

Company: Invision AI, Inc. (Toronto, Canada)
Technology: Uses existing cameras and AI vision systems to create real-time 3D digital twin of transit stations.
Primary Partner Agency: NJT

Company: Quanergy (Sunnyvale, CA)
Technology: Uses LiDAR hardware paired with analytic software to provide a digital twin of any space. The digital twin can report unsafe behavior, offers object detection and passenger flows.
Primary Partner Agency: NYCT, MNR 

Company: Zensors Inc. (San Fransisco, CA)
Technology: Uses artificial intelligence to capture actionable data from existing hardware and cameras to provide operations visibility and address problems that range from overcrowding to fare evasion.
Primary Partner Agency: NYCT, MNR

The Environmental Sustainability finalists are:

Company: Gridmatrix (San Francisco, CA)
Technology: Uses software to interpret video footage on roads, enabling agencies to understand traffic patterns, unsafe intersections, and emissions.
Primary Partner Agency: PANYNJ

Company: Microgrid Labs Inc. (Boulder, CO)
Technology: Enables planning for a fast, smooth and cost-effective transition to electric fleets through SaaS-based modeling, simulation, and optimization software, EVOPT.
Primary Partner Agency:

Company: Runwise Inc. (New York, NY)
Technology: Uses wireless technology and web based software to operate heating and water systems more efficiently and help cut utility costs. 
Primary Partner Agency: PANYNJ, MNR 

Company: StormSensor (Seattle, WA)
Technology: Provides cost-effective stormwater/climate-data and analytics to prevent flooding, simplify monitoring, and streamline maintenance and response.
Primary Partner Agency: PANYNJ, MNR, NJT 

Company: The Mobility House (Belmont, California)
Technology: Enables intelligent integration of electric vehicles with the grid while minimizing charging costs.
Primary Partner Agency: NYCT 

Natalia Quintero, Senior Vice President of Innovation at the Partnership for New York City, said, “Public transit is the backbone of the tri-state economy, and its efficacy, safety and resilience are of paramount importance. The Transit Tech Lab is committed to providing cutting edge tools to restore riders’ confidence and support a sustainable future. Previous winners have deployed tools that improve service and the customer experience. We look forward to seeing the results of this year’s program.”

Michael Wojnar, Senior Advisor for Innovation and Policy at the MTA, said, “Partnering with the Transit Tech Lab finalists gives the MTA the opportunity to evaluate innovative approaches to MTA’s top priorities and challenges as laid out by the Chair earlier this year. Limiting track intrusion, increasing safety in stations, building more resilient infrastructure, and improving the efficiency of electric vehicle charging will be important issues for the MTA in 2022 and for years to come. We are excited to see what these firms have to offer, and we thank the Transit Tech Lab for introducing them to us.”

Robert Galvin, Chief Technology Officer at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said, “We are thrilled to once again be partnering with Transit Tech Lab to test out innovative and sustainable technology across our facilities. As the first transportation agency to embrace the 2018 Paris Climate agreement and the first to commit to net zero emissions by 2050, we are eager to work with these finalists to pilot new technologies that will not only enhance travel for our customers, but will help to modernize our infrastructure processes and contribute to our overall environmental goals.” 

Lookman Fazal, Chief of Information & Digital Technology at NJ TRANSIT, said, “NJ TRANSIT is proud of our continued partnership with the Transit Tech Lab and we are excited to work with these finalist teams to harness innovations and cutting-edge technologies from the private sector. We are always looking to leverage the newest technologies to improve safety, service and the customer experience.”  

About the Transit Tech Lab

The Tech Lab program is part of the Transit Innovation Partnership, which yielded the award-winning MTA Live Subway Map and was established by the MTA and the Partnership for New York City to bring private sector innovation to improve public transit. 

Since 2018, the program has put the New York metropolitan region at the forefront of transit innovation, which promises to support the modernization of public transit and to transform the customer experience. Winners of previous competitions include Remix, a collaborative digital platform used to redesign the bus routes, and Axon Vibe, which built the Essential Connector smartphone app to help essential workers plan journeys during overnight subway disinfection closures. 

January 31, 2022

Regional Transportation Agencies Launch Tech Competition for COVID-19 Recovery and Environmental Sustainability

Applications open for Transit Tech Lab’s Recovery and Sustainability challenges with MTA, Port Authority, NJ TRANSIT and NYC DOT 

(New York, NY) – Today, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NJ TRANSIT, NYC Department of Transportation and the Partnership for New York City announced the fourth round of the Transit Tech Lab calling for technologies to aid in these agencies’ pandemic recovery and to meet sustainability objectives. 

Agencies are seeking solutions that restore customer confidence in public transportation, improve resilience to weather extremes, and further reduce the region’s carbon footprint, including new tools that better predict travel patterns, identify extreme weather impacts in real time, and support clean and efficient freight deliveries.

Applications for the Recovery Challenge and Sustainability Challenge are due March 25 and are accessible at:

Read more

January 12, 2022

MTA and Port Authority Deploy High-Tech Solutions to Enhance Cleaning, Predict Bus Capacity Levels, and Study E-Bike and Scooter Integration

After Successful Proof of Concepts, Three Innovative Companies Selected to Scale Pilots Across MTA and Port Authority Networks

(New York, NY) -- Today, the Transit Tech Lab – a public-private initiative created by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Partnership for New York City to bring private sector innovation to improve public transit – announced three winners of the COVID-19 Response Challenge who will implement high-tech solutions across the MTA and the Port Authority for New York & New Jersey.

The Challenge was launched in response to the pandemic and fielded over 200 global applicants. The companies selected showed promising results after a 12-week proof of concept and will scale their solutions across their respective partner agencies.

Solutions include an innovative disinfectant colorant for facilities, a software tool that optimizes bus performance, and a micro-mobility company that will study how e-bikes and scooters could be safely integrated into mass transit. This effort builds upon the agencies’ unprecedented efforts to enhance cleaning and improve service as riders return.

Read more

March 24, 2021

How tech has helped transit systems roll with the pandemic

Transit systems nationwide are exploring technological advancements as they continue to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What’s been most exciting is building partnerships within and beyond the big agencies,” said Natalia Quintero, the new senior vice president of innovation at the Partnership for New York City. She is responsible for leading the Transit Innovation Partnershipwith the Metropolitan Transportation Authority other regional agencies, and developing other related public-private initiatives.

Under the TIP’s three-year-old Transit Tech Lab accelerator program, of which Quintero was founding director, companies have the opportunity to pilot their technologies with the MTA.

Read more

February 12, 2021

Transit Innovates Amid a Pandemic: 2020 in Review

Public transit has played a critical role in the transport of essential workers throughout the pandemic — and it will be critical to New York’s recovery.

In 2020 the Transit Innovation Partnership partnered with the MTA, Port Authority, NYC DOT and NJ TRANSIT to make transit safer and empower customers.

In July 2020 our Transit Tech Lab introduced the COVID-19 Response Challenge in partnership with five regional transit agencies, drawing nearly 200 submissions in the competition. From October to December, transit agencies completed proofs of concept with eight of the most promising technologies, ranging from air filtration to micromobility integration. In 2021, transit agencies will select the most promising technologies for yearlong pilots.

Read more

January 20, 2021

Curb & Accessibility Challenge Finalists Present Proof of Concept Results

In the spring of 2020, the Transit Tech Lab completed the second annual transit innovation program. Through the pandemic, eight companies worked closely with agencies across New York and New Jersey, to offer solutions that have the potential to improve accessibility or traffic congestion for millions of daily travelers.

During this unprecedented time, the lab remained committed to supporting transit agencies and front-line workers.

Read more

December 18, 2020

Update on COVID-19 Response Challenge

In late October of 2020, eight companies were selected from nearly 200 global applicants to implement their innovative tools to create a healthier transit network as part of the Transit Tech Lab’s COVID-19 Response Challenge. Over eight weeks these companies worked with the MTA, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and NJ TRANSIT on proofs of concepts that showed promising results. Solutions range from micromobility and improved air filtration to new cleaning solutions for facilities, buses and subway cars. Learn about their progress below

Read more

October 27, 2020

Companies Selected to Bring High-Tech COVID Solutions, Including Air Purification and Crowd Monitoring, to New York Metro Public Transit

Transit Innovation Partnership Connecting Eight Innovative Companies with MTA, Port Authority, NJ TRANSIT and NYC DOE to Enhance Health and Safety of Transit Network

See the Online Showcase

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.

Read more

October 26, 2020

MTA Pilots Smartphone App to Help Blind and Low-Vision Bus Riders

NaviLens App – Transit Tech Lab 2020 Finalist - Navigates Users to Bus Stops and Tracks Bus Arrivals

Pilot Taking Place at Bus Stops Along 23rd Street in Manhattan

See Photos from the Announcement

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.

Read more

October 21, 2020

MTA Launches Groundbreaking Live Subway Map, Creating Next Generation Map Following Iconic Hertz and Vignelli Designs

Interactive Beta Version of Tool Blends Accuracy and Simplicity, Allows Customers to Plan Trips and Navigate System in Real Time

Digital Map Reflects Service Changes in Real-Time and Will Replace the Static ‘Weekender’

Map Was Developed Pro Bono by NYC-Based Work & Co, via the Transit Innovation Partnership, is a First for a North American Transit System

See the Map

Watch News Conference

View Photos from News Conference

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, 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.

Read more
Partnership for New York City logo
Metropolitan Transportation Authority

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.