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The largest-ever Transit Tech Lab class will work to enhance customer experience, system resiliency and curb management


Today, the Transit Tech Lab—a public-private initiative created by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Partnership Fund for New York City to accelerate innovation in public transportation—announced that 19 companies have been selected to collaborate with transit agencies operating in the New York area to test technologies designed to support the agencies’ objectives in customer experience, climate resilience and curb management.

The Customer Experience, Resilience, and Curb Activity challenges were announced in January 2024 and solicited 150 applications from around the world. Applicants were asked to demonstrate how their solutions can improve customer experience, build a more adaptive transit system, and maximize the utility of curb areas on New York City streets.

The companies selected will deploy their technologies over an eight-week “proof of concept” period with one or more of the participating agencies, including the MTA, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NJ TRANSIT, and the NYC Department of Transportation. The proofs of concept will leverage AI, LiDAR, and other smart technologies to improve transit operations.

NYCDOT’s Curb Activity Challenge

How can we maximize the city’s curb space to serve the multiple and varied needs of New Yorkers?

🚀 AIWaysion (Seattle, WA) – Provides an integrated camera, edge computing board, and communication module within one unit to monitor curb parking events.
Partner Agency: NYC Department of Transportation

🚀 AppyWay Ltd (London, United Kingdom) – Utilizes LiDAR imagery and existing curb data to provide a comprehensive digitized curb inventory, enabling municipalities to fully manage curb regulations, parking permissions, and payments, and unlock net zero mobility.
Partner Agency: NYC Department of Transportation

🚀 Populus (San Francisco, CA) – Provides a digital curb management software enabling municipalities to better understand curb demand, inventory and manage curb regulations, and actively manage new curb use cases with hardware-free smart zones. Populus integrates data from parking meters, sensors, cameras, and mobile pay, along with curb regulation inventories into a robust platform to improve curbside safety and efficiency in cities.
Partner Agency: NYC Department of Transportation

🚀 Seyond (Sunnyvale, CA) – Provides integrated, privacy-sensitive tracking of vehicles and pedestrians using LiDAR.
Partner Agencies: NYC Department of Transportation, NJ TRANSIT

These challenges mark the sixth iteration of the Transit Tech Lab, which has helped the regional transportation network improve subway signaling, curb management, transit accessibility, and mitigate extreme weather conditions. Since 2018, the TTL has fielded over 900 applicants, tested 51 new technology solutions, piloted 35 integrated solutions, and deployed 11 at scale.

Stacey Matlen, Senior Vice President of Innovation at the Partnership for New York City, said, “The Transit Tech Lab is thrilled to announce its largest-ever class – a remarkable cohort of 19 innovative companies that are well-positioned to measurably improve key aspects of our transit system. The Lab is an essential part of the Partnership Fund’s broader effort to advance the application of technology that serves the public interest. We are so proud that it has become an enduring model of effective public-private collaboration, and we look forward to another year of impactful accomplishments.”

Jessica Mathew, Senior Advisor for Policy & Special Projects at MTA, said “Enhancing customer experience and making our system more resilient are two of MTA’s central goals. We’re excited to see how this year’s cohort of companies will apply cutting-edge technology to address these pressing challenges.”

Rob Galvin, Chief Technology Officer at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said, “The Port Authority is excited to join forces with these ambitious companies through the Transit Tech Lab, harnessing their innovative ideas to help bolster our core priorities around safety, sustainability, and exceptional customer service. The solutions presented this year around sustainable energy generation, customer accessibility, and building inspection, among others continue what’s becoming a tradition of testing new technologies in our region to the benefit of the public while supporting a culture of innovation.”

“Our streets are public space and we are reimagining how they can be used to meet the demands of a 21st century city. For far too long, streets have been used exclusively for the movement and storage of private vehicles, but DOT is reimagining our public realm, advancing new policies, and utilizing new technology to make them safer, more vibrant, and beneficial for all New Yorkers,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “Thanks to our partnership with Transit Tech Lab, we look forward to piloting these new technologies and innovative approaches to help us build streets that serve the complex needs of New York City.”

“The Transit Tech Lab presents a valuable opportunity for NJ TRANSIT and the region’s agencies to collaborate on solving common problems together,” said NJ TRANSIT Chief Digital Information Officer Lookman Fazal. “NJ TRANSIT’s commitment to innovation that improves the customer experience is well served by the program, and we look forward to working with the companies and technologies in the upcoming 2024 program.”

About the Transit Tech Lab

The Transit Tech Lab, co-founded by the MTA and the Partnership Fund for New York City to make New York the global leader in public transit, provides a pathway for growth-stage companies to efficiently solve public transportation challenges. Participating agencies include the MTA, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NJ TRANSIT, and the NYC Department of Transportation. Winners of previous competitions include Remix, a collaborative digital platform used to redesign the bus routes, Axon Vibe, which built the Essential Connector smartphone app to help essential workers plan journeys during overnight subway disinfection closures, and Navilens, which enables visually impaired and limited English proficiency New Yorkers to better navigate the subway and bus systems.

About the Partnership Fund for New York City

The Partnership Fund for New York City is the $130 million investment arm of the Partnership for New York City, dedicated to mobilizing private sector resources and expertise to advance New York City’s standing as a global center of economic opportunity, upward mobility, and innovation. The Fund invests in entrepreneurs and innovators in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors who contribute to building a more vibrant and inclusive New York City economy. As an “evergreen” fund, realized gains are continuously reinvested. A key focus of the Fund is the application of new technology that serves the public interest.

The Partnership Fund Board is led by co-chairs Tarek Sherif and Neil Blumenthal. Maria Gotsch is the Fund’s President and CEO. More information about the Fund can be found at