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Accelerator addresses NYC's public transit challenges

Start-ups and entrepreneurs with products that improve accessibility, enhance traffic coordination, or create new sources of revenue are invited to submit applications.

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The Tech Transit Labs wants to make NYC a global leader in mobility
The Tech Transit Labs wants to make NYC a global leader in mobility

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Partnership for New York City have launched the second round of the Transit Tech Lab accelerator programme to find solutions to public transportation challenges in New York City.

 

The initiative aims to transform customer experience, reduce commuting times and make it easier to effectively manage complex transit systems.

 

Enhance traffic coordination

 

Start-ups and entrepreneurs with products that improve accessibility, enhance traffic coordination, or create new sources of revenue are invited to submit applications for the second year of the Transit Tech Lab programme.

 

Growth-stage companies with market-ready technology are also encouraged to apply.

 

The inaugural programme received some 100 applications. Six companies were selected for the eight-week accelerator with four proceeding to pilot their products with the MTA.

 

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York City Department of Transportation, New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, NJ Transit and Amtrak have decided to participate alongside the MTA this year.

 

Experts from public agencies, academia and business will evaluate submissions and select the most compelling companies to participate in the accelerator. Companies will be selected based on their product’s potential to solve one of the problems targeted by the MTA or another agency.

 

“We seek to utilise private-sector innovation and cutting-edge solutions to improve accessibility and reduce traffic and kerbside congestion at our airports.”

 

Where this milestone is achieved, companies will move on to a formal pilot project that deploys their product for testing in a participating transit system.

 

“The Port Authority is committed to upgrading its facilities to 21st-century global standards. We’re excited to join Transit Tech Lab in its second year,” said Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

 

“With the lab’s assistance, we seek to utilise private-sector innovation and cutting-edge solutions to improve accessibility and reduce traffic and kerbside congestion at our airports.”

 

2020 Transit Tech Lab challenges:

 

Accessibility: how can New York’s public transit system be made more accessible?

 

New York’s transit system can be challenging for disabled customers: for example, only 25 per cent of subway stations are wheelchair accessible. The MTA is seeking technology that can enhance accessibility to better serve customers with special needs, including those with auditory, visual, mobility and mental impairments, the elderly and child caregivers. Potential technology includes wayfinding, mapping and augmented reality tools.

 

Entrepreneurial revenue generation: how can public transit generate more revenue outside the farebox?

 

Increasing recurring entrepreneurial revenue for public transit would make transportation agencies less dependent on fares, taxes and bonds and enable transit agencies to invest more in maintenance, operations and service.

 

This Transit Tech Lab challenge seeks solutions that will enable the transit operators to capitalise on entrepreneurial opportunities, deriving more value from their significant assets. Opportunities include digital marketplaces for assets, customer loyalty programmes and digital retail.

 

Traffic coordination: how can transit agencies reduce traffic by increasing coordination at the curb?

 

Record traffic in New York City costs $20 billion annually in lost productivity and excess costs. The Transit Tech Lab seeks solutions to coordinating traffic at the kerb among passenger cars, for-hire vehicles, public buses, commercial trucks, tour buses, bicycles and pedestrians. Potential opportunities include dynamic pricing for parking, real-time mapping and reservations and last-mile freight distribution networks.

 

“The future of our city depends on public transit. Thanks to the governor and MTA’s leadership and commitment to innovation, our public transit system is improving,” said Rachel Haot, executive director of the Transit Innovation Partnership.

 

“With the Transit Tech Lab, we’re excited to build on that momentum and make our city the global leader in mobility by attracting the most innovative companies from around the globe to improve transportation in New York.”

 

The Transit Innovation Partnership is a public-private initiative created by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Partnership for New York City with the mission to make New York the global leader in public transit.

 

Find out more at transitinnovation.org

 

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