Regional Transport Orgs Testing New Tech

The Transit Tech Lab – a public-private initiative created by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Partnership for New York City – is testing out new technologies aimed at enhancing operational performance and improving employee recruitment and retention.

The lab announced that it has selected 15 companies to collaborate with regional transit agencies, and testing tech such as AI, LiDAR, and edge computing in transit operations. The Operational Efficiency and Human Capital Utilization challenges were announced in January 2023, receiving over 150 applications from around the world.

The companies selected will deploy their technologies over an eight-week “proof of concept” period with one or more of the following agencies: the MTA – including New York City Transit and Metro-North Railroad – the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NJ TRANSIT, and the NYC Department of Transportation.

“For the past five years, the Transit Tech Lab has been proud to bring together talented public- and private-sector partners who are committed to building an exciting new future for our transportation system,” said Stacey Matlen, vice president of innovation at the Partnership for New York City. “This new class of Transit Tech Lab companies are at the forefront of innovation and we can’t wait for New Yorkers to yield the benefits of their work to improve operational efficiency and human capital utilization.”

Since 2018, the Transit Tech Lab has fielded over 600 applicants, tested 36 technologies, and facilitated seven commercial engagements. These challenges have helped the regional transportation network to improve subway signaling, curb management, transit accessibility, and mitigate extreme weather conditions.

The Transit Tech Lab program is part of the Transit Innovation Partnership, which is well known for producing the award-winning MTA Live Subway Map.

This year’s selected companies include: ACCURE Battery Intelligence, Digital Mortar, Humatics, Lux Modus, Optibus, PavCon, Signapse AI, Swiftly Inc., TekTracking, ThroughPut Inc., Wi-Tronix, Widesense, eSkill Corporation, Jetdocs, and Pyxai.

“Every year, the leaders of the MTA present their most challenging issues to the Transit Tech Lab [TTL], and every year, the Challenges orchestrated by the Lab deliver,” said Michael Wojnar, senior advisor for innovation and policy at MTA. “Several firms first brought to our attention via the TTL are now great business partners, having provided forward-thinking solutions to problems and conditions in desperate need of innovation.”

“The relationship between the Transit Innovation Partnership, the TTL, and the MTA is one of the most successful and productive public-private partnerships in the long history of this Authority,” Wojnar added.