All posts by Sarah Kaufman

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.

Join us tomorrow to improve Staten Island buses

Tomorrow we’re hosting the Staten Island Bus Hackathon in partnership with TransitCenter and the MTA. We’re eager to see what the many participants create.

Here is the TransitCenter press release:

“This Saturday, New York transit officials, civic-minded technologists, and transportation planners will gather for an unprecedented workshop and competition: the first-ever New York City Bus Data Hackathon.

In partnership with MTA-New York City Transit and NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation, TransitCenter has invited tech- and transportation-savvy New Yorkers to propose more effective routes for local and express buses operating on Staten Island, whose residents endure some of thelongest average commute times in the country. Participants will have access to detailed bus route ridership, performance, and population data to craft their proposals.

“For many Staten Islanders, the daily commute continues to go from bad to torturous,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. “With Saturday’s Hackathon, data analysts, transit planners, and others–some Staten Island residents and some not–will get a chance to look at the data and take a crack at generating new and creative proposals to improve the quality of our bus service.” Oddo will attend the event and give opening remarks to commence the day’s proceedings.

The Hackathon is the latest project in TransitCenter’s long-term organizational commitment to improving urban mobility in New York City, where the foundation is based and has its institutional roots. (The initiative is one of our four core program areas, and the only one focused on a specific city.) New York City Transit, which operates over 3,000 buses during rush hour serving more than 700 million annual riders, has a strong transit infrastructure that is naturally poised to benefit from data-driven analysis of current service. Recent bus network redesigns in cities such as Houston and Fort Lauderdale have allowed transit agencies to maximize the usefulness of their existing fleets and provide riders faster and easier transit service. With the goal of achieving similar improvements in New York City, the Hackathon brings to network planning a fun, competitive approach similar to theMTA’s annual App Quest event for transit app developers.

The best solutions for faster, more effective transit on Staten Island–which, despite population growth and changing travel patterns, has not seen its bus network updated in decades–will be rewarded and presented publicly to borough residents at a later date and may inform the MTA’s ongoing Staten Island Comprehensive Bus Study.”

NYU Rudin Center hosts “Downtown Rising”

NYU Rudin Center hosted a panel discussing the decades of policies that enabled the success of Downtown Brooklyn. The panel featured:

  • Joseph Chan, EVP, Empire State Development Corporation
  • Regina Myer, President, Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation
  • Hugh O’Neill, President, Appleseed Inc.
  • Tucker Reed, President, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
  • Moderator: Mitchell L. Moss, Director, NYU Rudin Center for Transportation

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries spoke about the importance of Brooklyn’s economy to the nation.

To read the report, “Downtown Rising,” click here.

Photos by Don Pollard.

Downtown Brooklyn Rising

Of the many changes that have reshaped New York City during the past fifteen years, few have been as dramatic and as consequential as the emergence of Downtown Brooklyn as a major center of innovation, economic growth, and cultural development. “Downtown Rising: How Brooklyn became a model for urban development” examines the ongoing transformation of Downtown Brooklyn, why and how it has happened, and its implications for the borough and the city.

Download the report here.

DowntownBrooklynRising