NYC Opens Transit Tech Lab Competition

New York regional transportation agencies launched the sixth annual Transit Tech Lab competition earlier this month, calling for tech-driven approaches to customer experience, resiliency, and curb management.

Since 2018, the Transit Tech Lab has yielded substantial success in advancing technological innovation at New York-area transit agencies – the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NJ TRANSIT, NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Partnership for New York City.

“A thriving public transit system means a thriving New York, and that’s why we are so excited to help put innovative technologies to work to improve the rider experience,” Stacey Matlen, VP of innovation at the Partnership for New York City, said in a statement. “We are looking forward to yet another year of impactful collaboration between transit agencies and tech innovators, who will be working together once again to help ensure our public transportation can quickly adapt and respond to twenty-first century challenges.”

The transit agencies are looking to improve customer experience by better communicating service changes, reducing delays, and augmenting safety and cleanliness initiatives.

Technologies for this year’s project could include tools to encourage paid ridership; predictive analytical tools to estimate average outage time for common delays; and virtual reality technologies to digitize safety, operations, maintenance, and construction training.

In order to build a more resilient and adaptive transit system, the agencies are also looking for technology to help mitigate climate-related vulnerabilities and electrification tools to enable more dynamic charging and EV fleet management.

NYCDOT specifically is looking maximize the city’s curb space to serve the multiple and varied needs of New Yorkers with technology that can enable use of curb space for recreation or commerce and more effectively communicate allowable curb uses.

“The Curb Activity challenge aims to help DOT implement the Curb Management Action Plan and enable better decision making and regulations,” the press release says. “NYC DOT is taking a ‘blank slate’ approach and calling for scalable technology to provide data that helps DOT better understand curb inventory: what regulations, restrictions and features are where, and/or curb activity: who is using the curb in what way.”

Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi said, “Our curb space is the city’s hottest commodity. But it’s clear our current uses no longer reflect New Yorkers’ needs. With increases in cycling, e-commerce and outdoor dining, we’re leveraging the tech community to help us optimize our streets and sidewalks and better serve these growing demands.”

Applications for the Customer Experience, Resilience, and Curb Activity challenges are open until Feb. 28, and interested early and growth stage companies can submit their proposals at