All posts by Sarah Kaufman

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.


Announcing NYC’s First-Ever Bus Hackathon

MTA New York City Transit, TransitCenter and the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation will hold the first-ever New York City Bus Hackathon on March 5, 2016. Participants will use ridership and performance data to inform and improve bus route planning. This event will build upon the MTA’s study of Staten Island bus service and will shape local data-centric transit planning in the future.

Participants will be tasked with developing proposals for a reconsidered network of express and local buses on Staten Island. MTA New York City Transit will provide unprecedented data sets, including ridership data for express routes and comprehensive archival performance data from BusTime for express and local routes. The best solutions for faster, more reliable transit for Staten Island will be rewarded and presented to local officials.

Visit the event website on DevPost.

Please join us:
Saturday March 5, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
LMHQ: 150 Broadway, 20th Floor, New York, NY

Click here to register. This event is open to the public, but requires pre-registration.

This event is organized in partnership with TransitCenter and the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, and generously sponsored by TransitCenter. Additional support is provided by Google and CartoDB; technical assistance will be available from both organizations at the event.



Save the Date: Bus Hackathon

Join us on March 5th to rethink NYC bus planning for the 21st century. Save the date for a TransitCenter and NYU Rudin Center hackathon in partnership with MTA NYC Transit. More information and registration coming soon.

Saturday, March 5, 2016
9:00 a.m.

Register here.

Updated: Mobility, Economic Opportunity and NYC Neighborhoods

The NYU Rudin Center for Transportation has updated our January 2015 report: “Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods,” focusing on the variations of job access by transit throughout New York City. The new edition includes this year’s new transit resources, such as the 7 line station and Select Bus Service routes.


This research was supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and Google.

World Trade Center Rebuilding Pays Off for Port Authority and the Region

The general view of New Yorkers, the media, and the civic community has been that the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, while necessary, has come at a major cost to the Port Authority’s bottom line. Findings in a new report by the NYU Rudin Center, with the assistance of Appleseed, tell a different story: The World Trade Center project will ultimately generate enormous economic return for New York and the region, while preserving the Port Authority’s ability to invest in its core transportation assets.

This analysis shows that the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is poised to recover nearly all – between 97.4 and 98.6 percent – of its anticipated $16.76 billion investment in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, and confirms that the redevelopment of the site has already generated substantial benefits for the New York-New Jersey region.

Utilizing a wide range of data sources, the Rudin Center report accounts for Port Authority reimbursements and revenue from various sources, including:

  • Insurance proceeds – from both the Port Authority and Silverstein Properties’ insurers
  • Post-9/11 federal funding
  • Revenues from One World Trade Center
  • Ground lease payments from Silverstein Properties
  • Payments by Westfield for rights to the World Trade Center retail space
  • Income from the sale or lease of the 5 World Trade Center site

Read the report in full here: Surprise! World Trade Center Rebuilding Pays Off for the Port Authority – And the Region

Event Announcement: PERIPHERAL PROPOSALS : Models for Commuting from the Margins

Monday, November 9
Van Alen Institute
30 W 22nd Street, New York, NY

Subways are the primary mode of transportation in New York, but we need new ideas for atypical travelers: those who live on the city’s geographic and social edges. From off-the-grid dollar vans and mobile apps for commuters with limited accessibility, to ambitious proposals to connect the boroughs’ coastlines along ferry routes, we’ll explore how ad-hoc systems, new technologies, and innovating with antique infrastructure can expand transit equity.

Participants: Eric Goldwyn, journalist; David R. Jones, president & CEO, Community Service Society; Sarah M. Kaufman, digital manager and assistant adjunct professor of planning, NYU Rudin Center for Transportation; Joanne Rausen, assistant commissioner, data & technology, NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission; Douglas Adams, Waterfront Alliance

The discussion will also include new ideas from the NYU Rudin Center’s Emerging Leaders in Transportation Fellows.

This event is presented in partnership with the Van Alen Institute.

Purchase tickets here. Students qualify for free entry; please contact the Rudin Center for more information.

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez Releases Report at the NYU Rudin Center

New York City Council Member and Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez spoke at the NYU Rudin Center this morning. He released a report, “Next Stop: Making Transportation Safe and More Efficient.” His multi-point plan for improving transportation safety in the city includes parts of Sam Schwartz’s Move NY traffic congestion plan, improving subway naming and platforms, and implementing taxi driver safety measures.

Photos by Don Pollard.