All posts by Sarah Kaufman

Talking Traffic on Popular Mechanics

NYU Rudin Center Assistant Director Sarah Kaufman spoke with Popular Mechanics on Facebook Live yesterday. The conversation covered gridlock, bikes and driverless cars while sitting in traffic. Check out the video here:

Op-Ed: Rebuild Penn Station without uprooting the Garden

Mitchell L. Moss, NYU Rudin Center Director, and Hugh O’Neill, founder and president of Appleseed, wrote an op-ed in today’s Crain’s New York, “Forget romantic fantasies—rebuild Penn Station without uprooting the Garden.” (link)

Here’s an excerpt:

There are well-meaning groups who believe we should tear down the current structure, move Madison Square Garden, and start over. Simply put, this is too expensive and disruptive an option for achieving most of the same goals by modernizing the existing facility at far lower cost and with far less disruption.

Read the full piece here; Read the related report, “Penn Station: Time to Get Moving,” here.

Recent events at the NYU Rudin Center

Current research: Intelligent Paratransit

The NYU Rudin Center’s current work surrounds “Intelligent Paratransit,” a project to re-frame mobility for the elderly and disabled using modern ridesharing technologies.

Through this work, the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation aims to find technological solutions to making paratransit across the country more cost- and time-efficient, and a better experience for its customers. We are analyzing paratransit systems worldwide, evaluating potential improvements for reservations, dispatch and routing, and recommending strategies for incorporating new technology into existing systems.

The NYU Rudin Center hosted advisory group sessions to discuss the implications of changes and advances in policy, technology, and operations as they apply to paratransit in the US and collaborate on potential solutions. The project advisory group consists of stakeholders from the public, private, non-profit and advocacy sectors.

The Intelligent Paratransit report will be released in the summer of 2016.

Intelligent Paratransit is led by Sarah M. Kaufman, NYU Rudin Center Assistant Director, and is funded by grants from TransitCenter and The New York Community Trust.

 

Penn Station: Time to Get Moving

Announcing our newest report, Time to Get Moving: Improving commuter and intercity rail facilities and services on Manhattan’s West Side, written with Appleseed.

An excerpt:

“The approach to redeveloping the Farley Building and Penn Station that has been presented by Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development, Amtrak and the MTA offers a real opportunity to dramatically improve the facilities and services available to both commuters and intercity rail passengers traveling into and out of Manhattan. Critical issues must still be addressed: achieving the right balance of public and private investments, bringing New Jersey Transit into the process, the sequencing of proposed improvements, etc. But there is now a framework within which these issues can be addressed and resolved.

Moving Madison Square Garden and building an entirely new Penn Station would be far more expensive, and finding the billions of dollars in additional capital required to finance such a project would be extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible. New rail tunnels under the Hudson and adequate funding of the MTA capital program are both essential to the future of New York City and to the economic vitality of New York State and New Jersey. A new Penn Station does not even come close. It’s time to move on.”

Download the report here: Time to Get Moving

Transit: The Gender Difference

Experiences in transit are as diverse as New Yorkers, and it’s time to call attention to the different ways genders approach transit in New York City.

NYU Rudin Center Assistant Director Sarah M. Kaufman has published a post in today’s Second Avenue Sagas highlighting these differences and recommended action plans.

Click here for the post.

Transit: The Gender Difference

Photo above by Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Alex Wagner Speaks at Rudin Center Breakfast

Alex Wagner, political commentator, spoke at this morning’s annual NYU Rudin Center Breakfast at The Modern.

 

Photos: Don Pollard

Alex Wagner, political commentator, at the NYU Rudin Center Breakfast at The Modern on March 10, 2016.
Alex Wagner, political commentator, at the NYU Rudin Center Breakfast at The Modern on March 10, 2016.
NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and NYU Rudin Center Director Mitchell L. Moss - NYU Rudin Center Breakfast at The Modern on March 10, 2016. Photo: Don Pollard
NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and NYU Rudin Center Director Mitchell L. Moss – NYU Rudin Center Breakfast at The Modern on March 10, 2016. Photo: Don Pollard
NYC Transit President Ronnie Hakim and NYU Rudin Center Director Mitchell L. Moss - NYU Rudin Center Breakfast at The Modern on March 10, 2016. Photo: Don Pollard
NYC Transit President Ronnie Hakim and NYU Rudin Center Director Mitchell L. Moss – NYU Rudin Center Breakfast at The Modern on March 10, 2016. Photo: Don Pollard
Engine President Julie Samuels and NYU Rudin Center Assistant Director Sarah M. Kaufman - NYU Rudin Center Breakfast at The Modern on March 10, 2016. Photo: Don Pollard
Engine President Julie Samuels and NYU Rudin Center Assistant Director Sarah M. Kaufman – NYU Rudin Center Breakfast at The Modern on March 10, 2016. Photo: Don Pollard

A Groundbreaking Hackathon

The Staten Island Bus Hackathon, organized by the NYU Rudin Center, TransitCenter and the MTA was a resounding success and an unprecedented event. Held on Saturday, March 5th, It was highly attended and produced many implementable solutions.

Approximately 150 participants – coders, planners and other interested attendees – joined the event held at LMHQ in Lower Manhattan. Fifteen proposals for reforming Staten Island Bus service were submitted and presented.

Three prizes were awarded:

  • Grand Prize: “How to Optimize Express Bus Routes in Staten Island,” by Sri Kanajan (link)
  • Best Solution for Express Bus Service: “Better Than The Subway,” by Colin Foley, Maria Carey, Raymond Cha, Larry Gould and David McCreery (link)
  • Best Solution for Local Bus Service: “Buses in SI,” by Austin Krauza, Jenny Ye, Adam Davidson, Sunny Zheng and Steve Bauman (link)

All submissions can be viewed in the gallery.

The event was hosted by NYU Rudin Center Assistant Director Sarah Kaufman and TransitCenter Program Manager Tabitha Decker. The program featured several prominent presenters:

  • TransitCenter’s Executive Director, David Bragdon, welcomed the attendees.
  • Staten Island Borough President James Oddo discussed key transportation concerns and his high hopes for the hackathon’s outcomes.
  • The data and Staten Island Bus Study were introduced by MTA NYCT planners Jonathan Hawkins and Chris Pangalinan.
  • Key tools to be used by hackers were introduced by Felipe Hoffa (Google) and Jeff Ferzoco (CartoDB).
  • Chris Whong of CartoDB delivered the lunchtime keynote, hitting on several key ingredients necessary for successful civic hacking.

The hackathon submissions were judged by:

  • John Gaul, Vice President, 21st Century Service Delivery, MTA New York City Transit
  • Manasvi Menon, Senior Strategic Consultant, Intersection
  • Shin-pei Tsay, Deputy Executive Director, TransitCenter
  • Sarah Wyss, Senior Director, Bus Service Planning, MTA New York City Transit

The hackathon was a highly successful event showcasing the importance and value of public participation in planning and the power of data-based solutions.

Photos below and at our photo gallery.