New York regional transportation agencies launch fifth iteration of Transit Tech Lab

New York regional transportation agencies launch fifth iteration of Transit Tech Lab

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit), New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) and the Partnership for New York City launched the fifth iteration of the annual Transit Tech Lab competition, calling for technology-driven approaches to support agency goals in operational efficiency and human capital utilization.

Applications for the Operational Efficiency Challenge and the Human Capital Utilization Challenge are due March 2nd and are accessible here.

Representatives from each participating agency will evaluate the startups based on technology impact and the applicant’s product, team and overall value proposition. Finalists will move forward to conduct a proof of concept over an eight-week period. Companies with the most compelling technologies that advance agency goals can win a one-year pilot. In recent years, 23 companies have been selected to participate in year-long pilots, conducting more in-depth tests to demonstrate the value of their technology to agency partners.

The challenge of operational efficiency

In response to reduced ridership and revenue following the pandemic, NYC’s regional transit agencies are looking for tools that can lower costs while increasing efficiency.

Technologies may include:

Predictive maintenance and analysis on public transit and infrastructure assets, such as track, signal and power systems, to proactively identify potential operational failures before they occur. Tools to prevent toll evasion and improve/automate the issuance and processing of toll evasion calls. Tools that predict and mitigate operational disruptions, such as the impacts of weather events, delays, platform fills, excessive wait times, crime, road safety, or EV bus battery electrical fires. Tools to help prioritize operational staff resources, such as where to deploy cleaning staff and waste management solutions, manually inspect assets, deploy human flags or allocate human counters on trains. Tools to help automate and improve operations and make them more sustainable, such as 1:1 digital customer communication, bus placement within a warehouse, internal employee communication, adaptive planning of picking buses, automating track inspections to help speed up the service or microgrid and optimize decarbonization. Linking different data sources into one system. Examples of data include tariff data across different countries, the movement of goods and trucks, and the integration of customer feedback. The human capital challenge

NYC’s regional transit agencies, along with other public transportation agencies across North America, are facing workforce shortages. To meet service needs, agencies are seeking tools to improve employee recruitment and retention through the Human Capital Challenge.

Technologies may include:

Improved training tools to speed up and streamline the hiring and onboarding process. Tools to help recruit and retain operational staff, especially those with commercial driver’s licenses. Tools to communicate long-term career paths within agencies. Upskilling and training tools for technical and soft skills to invest in current employees. Tools to empower employees by tracking and communicating productivity. Workforce and succession planning tools. Tools to improve the safety of bus drivers and conductors.

The Transit Tech Lab is a program of the Transit Innovation Partnership, a public-private initiative created by the MTA and New York City partnership to make New York a global leader in public transportation. The Transit Tech Lab is supported by the Partnership Fund for New York City and is modeled after the fund’s successful accelerator program, The FinTech Innovation Lab, which has helped make New York a leading hub for fintech startups.

“Public transit is the backbone of New York, and the Transit Tech Lab has been honored to facilitate five years of very productive collaborations between our transit agency partners and the technology community. Their incredible work is helping to build a better transit system for everyone, and we look forward to another year of exciting and impactful collaboration,” said Stacey Matlen, vice president of innovation at the Partnership for New York City.

“Now entering its sixth year, the Transit Tech Lab continues to be a tremendous way for the MTA to explore innovative approaches to improving critical aspects of our system, and it’s great to see riders enjoying the benefits of this work.” as previous Challenge winners have signed big contracts in recent months. This year, we’re excited to focus on innovations in operational efficiency and human capital, both of which are absolutely critical to system-wide performance,” said Michael Wojnar, senior advisor for innovation and policy at the MTA.

“NYC DOT has been proud to join with transportation agencies in the city and across the region to meet the extraordinary technological challenges of the past eventful years. This latest Transit Tech Lab initiative will allow us to test creative new innovations to improve overall organizational performance, increasing our ability to make our routes safer and more efficient,” said Will Carry, Asst. policy commissioner, NYC DOT.

“New Jersey’s Innovation Economy birthed the world’s first transistors and invented many of the technologies that enable so many opportunities in today’s mobility ecosystem. At this important national moment for public transportation, NJ Transit recognizes the tremendous power that ‘innovation in mobility’ has to deliver a stronger and fairer New Jersey and looks forward to our continued partnership with the Transit Tech Lab to connecting us with firms that are developing creative solutions for key components of our operations,” said Lookman Fazal, NJ Transit’s chief information and digital officer.

“For more than a century, the Port Authority has led the region in harnessing new technologies and innovations to create and operate world-class infrastructure and best-in-class facilities, from the world-first engineering feats of our bridges and tunnels to the construction of new bridges and the redevelopment of airports without affecting service. Our participation in the Transit Tech Lab and the successes we’ve seen so far from the collaboration align with our agency’s long history of developing and identifying global best practices to improve every aspect of our operations spanning the largest and most diverse portfolio. diverse infrastructure and region. services,” said Rob Galvin, chief technology officer at PANYNJ.

To date, the Transit Tech Lab has supported 36 proofs of concepts, 23 pilots and six commercial procurements of innovative technologies across its partner transit systems.

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