All posts by Sarah Kaufman

What we’re reading this week

Image above: Cars being transported across Ireland in 1950, via the National Library of Ireland on Flickr

Aside from subway overcrowding and taxi data hacking, this is what we’re reading this week on the web:

  • The LaGuardia Airport renovation is in jeopardy, again. (link)
  • Indego, Philadelphia’s new bike share, opens today with 600 bicycles; users are encouraged to wear helmets. (link)
  • A new United Nations-adjacent residential tower will feature full-floor “floating gardens.” (link)
  • Cargo bikes are the new minivans. (link)
  • The hipster express: more L trains to start running this fall. (link)

Thanks to Sean Lewin, our new research assistant, for compiling this list.

Taxi Shift-Change Hackathon: Event Recap

The NYU Rudin Center joined forces with NYC’s Taxi and Limousine Commission to help resolve the taxi shift-change issue- when taxis are unavailable between 4 and 6 p.m. due to driver handoffs of vehicles. The hackathon took place on April 11 at the Rudin Center, under the sponsorship and technical guidance of Google.

Data scientists, civic hackers, graphic designers, analysts, government policymakers, and statistics hobbyists gathered to discover solutions to the taxi gap, which is estimated to miss out on about 11,000 rides daily.

We’ll post some of the solutions soon (the hackers are still hacking!), but in the meantime, here are some pics of the event:

 

NYC TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi kicked off the event, sharing the challenges and concerns of her agency; NYU Rudin Center Director Mitchell L. Moss discussed the importance of taxis to mobility in NYC; NYC TLC Director of Research and Evaluation Rodney Stiles presented the event-related data and the shift-change issue specifics.

The 40 hackers plugged away all day long, sharing results along the way.

 

Participants were treated to a Q&A with current taxi drivers, who added the on-the-ground perspective to this work.

NYC taxi drivers respond to participant questions at the NYC TLC Shift-Change Hackathon on April 11, 2015.
NYC taxi drivers respond to participant questions at the NYC TLC Shift-Change Hackathon on April 11, 2015.

 

The NYU Rudin Center is thrilled to have hosted this first event of its kind. We hope that in the future we can help connect the public sector with smart, thoughtful individuals to work toward  solutions for civic issues.

Thanks to our participants, the NYC TLC and Google.

 

Event: The Future of the Streetscape

Please join the NYU Rudin Center and the Van Alen Institute on June 11 for an evening of discussion:

How will the streetscape look and function in 20, 50, and 100 years?

The urban streetscape is facing increasing demands for space from a variety of users – pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, a spike in deliveries to homes and offices, food trucks, mobile commercial spaces, and more – without recalibrating the permitting or design. Join us for a series of presentations that ask urban planners, designers, architects, and others: What is the street of the future? We’ll review new visions for pleasant, productive streetscapes that balance the needs of transportation infrastructure, commercial activity, and residents young and old.

Sarah Kaufman, Digital Manager, and Anthony Townsend, Senior Research Scientist, will present at the event on behalf of the Rudin Center, along with esteemed professionals from throughout the transportation and tech fields.

Tickets and more information are available here: https://vanalen.org/events/on-the-street/

Students: Please email the Rudin Center for discounted tickets.

Image above via Flickr user Mel Schmidt

 

Wanted: Research Assistants

The NYU Rudin Center for Transportation seeks enrolled or incoming graduate students to work as research assistants starting in fall 2015.

The Rudin Center for Transportation at NYU’s Wagner School aims to strengthen our understanding of all modes of transportation through research, public forums, and educational programs. Current areas of focus include: Information technology and transportation systems, inequality and access to employment, urban bike share systems and the future of supercommuting.

RAs are responsible for assisting in background research, data analysis, writing, event planning, and web content, depending on organizational needs.

Candidates do not need direct job experience, but should be interested in transportation in cities. RAs must work a minimum of 12 hours per week.

Interested applicants should exhibit 2-3 of these skills:

  • Data analysis, terminology and applications
  • Knowledge of or experience in transportation planning
  • Strong writing skills
  • Ability to communicate with variety of stakeholders
  • Event planning and coordination
  • Policy research
  • PowerPoint/Keynote and presentation development
  • GIS and spatial analytics, including ArcGIS
  • WordPress
  • Microsoft Excel

Please highlight relevant skills and your degree of proficiency in your resume or cover letter.

To Apply

Interested candidates should email the required documents below as attachments to rudin [dot] center [at] nyu.edu with the subject line “RA Application.”

  1. Current resume
  2. Cover letter
  3. Writing sample (1-3 pages or URL)
  4. Portfolio of relevant web-based, design, programming, or data visualization work (not required)

 

New York University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

 

Lily and Nolan hit the streets to chat it up with The Policy Shop
Research Assistants Lily and Nolan hit the streets to chat it up with The Policy Shop

Big Data Fest

The NYU Rudin Center presented our Transit Access and Jobs report and map at the NY Hall of Science’s Big Data Fest this weekend. Sarah Kaufman (Digital Manager) and Jorge Hernandez (Research Assistant) met a variety of people both casually and professionally interested in big data; many of them had stories about how their commutes affected their job opportunities.

Thanks to all who stopped by to talk!

Jorge Hernandez and a visitor at the NY Hall of Science
Jorge Hernandez and a visitor at the NY Hall of Science

The Rudin Center in the News

The NYU Rudin Center has appeared in the press recently, discussing policy, tech and social media:

  • Smart buses and public transportation can be compatible – Sarah Kaufman in Wired. (link)
  • How NYC “has merit as a subject of art” – Mitchell Moss in the Wall Street Journal. (link)
  • Benefits of Citi Bike’s weekend reset – Mitchell Moss in The New York Times. (link)
  • Social media keeps transit riders informed – Sarah Kaufman in Government Technology. (link)
  • Anthony Townsend named to Chicago’s Internet of Things Council – Chicago Tribune. (link)

Image above: Interior of Leap Bus, via Wired.

New Citizens Budget Commission Report

A bold new Citizens Budget Commission report calls for vehicle-based fees to finance transit, among other thoughtful recommendations.

In sum:

This report examines the MTA’s current fiscal challenges and identifies options for funding its capital investment needs for the next five years. The analysis of these options includes consideration of how well measures to raise money for the MTA fit into a broader financing plan for the state’s entire transportation system, including its extensive road and bridge network. Specifically this report addresses two questions: (1) how much money does the MTA require to address its capital investment needs, and (2) from where should any requisite new money come?

Click here to read the report.

 

Excellence in Transportation Breakfast

The Rudin Center for Transportation celebrated Excellence in Transportation at the annual breakfast, hosted by The Modern on March 12. Keynote speaker David Plouffe, Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy at Uber, discussed the company’s collaborations with cities and suburbs to improve transportation for the twenty-first century.

Event photos follow.

Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods: A New Report

The NYU Rudin Center for Transportation announces the release of a new report: “Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods,” focusing on the variations of job access by transit throughout New York City.

This research was supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and Google.

Job Access Map

From the Introduction:

“The ability of a public transportation network to physically link residents to jobs has become a central point of concern for urban policy in an era of uneven unemployment and rapidly changing job markets. The economy of New York City is unique in North America due to its high uptake of public transportation. Here, 56% of the population uses transit to reach work; an individual’s ability to access a job is largely a function of how well their neighborhood is served by the public transportation system. This report presents direct measurements of job access in New York City, and contrasts the levels of access that are experienced in the city’s many neighborhoods…

To improve economic opportunities citywide, the NYU Rudin Center recommends that policymakers increase the number of transportation modal options across the city, maximize use of existing transportation infrastructure, and foster the ability to work remotely. These solutions will benefit all New Yorkers’ access to job opportunities and economic improvement.”

Report maps by NYU Rudin Center, linepointpath and Datapolitan.

 

December Events: Transportation Futurism, Tech and Thought

Please join the NYU Rudin Center at three exciting events in December:

December 3, 9am: Re-Programming Mobility: What Do Smart Phones and Self-Driving Cars Mean for Future Cities?  Based on the report Re-Programming Mobility by Dr. Anthony Townsend, NYU Rudin Center Senior Researcher. For more information and to RSVP visit:  http://wagner.nyu.edu/events/rudin-12-03-2014

December 9, 6:30pm: Open in NYC: Open technology and tools for city government. Join Sarah Kaufman, NYU Rudin Center Digital Manager, and several other experts showcasing the latest location-based works in NYC, at Google NYC. RSVP here:  https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/open-in-nyc-tickets-12168378949

December 9th, 7:30pm: Cities +, Presented by the NYU Rudin Center and Satellite Magazine. Five lightning talks from transportation experts in video, data, ridership, collaborative planning and mapping at The Way Station in Prospect Heights. More information and RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1489962491284066

We hope to see you on December 3rd or 9th at one of these fantastic events.

Artwork above by Jeff Ferzoco, linepointpath, for Re-Programming Mobility.