Technology

N.Y.'s Transit Tech Lab looking to solve transportation challenges

Posted on October 15, 2019

Transit Tech Lab has put New York at the forefront of the emerging field of transit tech, which promises to transform customer experience, reduce commuting times, and make it far easier to effectively manage complex transit systems.
MTA/Patrick Cashin
Transit Tech Lab has put New York at the forefront of the emerging field of transit tech, which promises to transform customer experience, reduce commuting times, and make it far easier to effectively manage complex transit systems.MTA/Patrick Cashin

The New York MTA and the Partnership for New York City announced the second round of the Transit Tech Lab, an accelerator program that allows the MTA and other public transportation agencies to explore innovative, private sector solutions to challenges they face in operating the region’s subway, bus, and commuter rail services.

The program has put New York at the forefront of the emerging field of transit tech, which promises to transform customer experience, reduce commuting times, and make it far easier to effectively manage complex transit systems.

Entrepreneurs with products that improve accessibility, enhance traffic coordination, or create new sources of revenues are invited to submit applications for the second year of the Transit Tech Lab by Nov. 30, 2019.

Last year, the program received almost 100 applications. Six companies were selected for the eight-week accelerator program, which is held in the spring, and four have proceeded to piloting their products with the MTA. The program proved so successful that 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 are participating alongside the MTA this year.

Experts from public agencies, academia and business will evaluate submissions and select the most compelling companies to participate in an eight-week accelerator to achieve “proof of concept” — meaning their product demonstrates potential to solve one of the problems targeted by the MTA or another agency. 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.

2020 Transit Tech Lab Challenges:

  • Accessibility: How can we make New York’s public transit system more accessible?
  • Entrepreneurial Revenue Generation: How can public transit generate more revenue outside the farebox?
  • Traffic Coordination: How can transit agencies reduce traffic by increasing coordination at the curb?
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