MTA Looks to Startups to Help Solve Transit Problems With New Transit Tech Lab - NBC New York

MTA Looks to Startups to Help Solve Transit Problems With New Transit Tech Lab

The startups are working on predicting and preventing subway delays, reducing cost for customers, improving dangerous platform crowding and helping buses move faster

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    MTA Looks to Startups to Help Solve Transit Problems With New Transit Tech Lab
    @sidritc/Twitter
    One of the issues the startups are trying to solve is dangerous platform crowding.

    What to Know

    • The MTA and the Partnership for New York City has launched an 8 week 'Transit Tech Lab' to help solve city transit issues

    • Six tech startups have been selected to work on issues such as platform overcrowding and predicting and preventing subway delays

    • The lab started Feb. 25. At the end, the companies with the best solutions will move forward with the MTA for a 1 year pilot of their tech

    The MTA hopes the tech industry might be able to solve its problems, and has six startups busily working on them right now. 

    Last Monday, the MTA and the Partnership for New York City kicked off an eight week Transit Tech Lab, in which six selected startups are working with MTA personnel to improve New York City’s subway and bus service.

    The priorities of the Transit Tech Lab include predicting and preventing subway delays, reducing cost for customers, improving dangerous platform crowding conditions, and helping public buses move faster and more efficiently in bus lanes.

    Over 100 companies vied for selection to the lab.

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    Those selected for the subway challenge include Axon Vibe and Veovo. Both companies specialize in using sensor data, either for apps or to capture the flow of people. 

    The companies selected for the bus challenge include Palisade Labs, PIPS Technology, Preteckt, and Remix. The selected companies are working to improve NYC’s transportation system at no cost to the MTA.

    Transit Innovation Partnership executive director Rachel Haot said the companies were selected based on a rigorous criteria. Companies had to have a working prototype in order to be considered. They were judged based on their impact, product, team, and value.

    “Improving public transit is critical to New York City’s future. We are thrilled that the technology community has stepped up to this challenge and grateful for the MTA’s commitment to innovation,” Haot said.

    One week in, the startups already have detailed project plans and eight week goals.

    At the end of the eight weeks, the program allows companies with the best solutions to move forward with the MTA for a one year pilot of those technologies. Commuters could potentially see a difference in their daily transportation system after the start of the one year pilot, Haot said.

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