Category Archives: event

Recent events at the NYU Rudin Center

2015-2016 Rudin Center Highlights

The Rudin Center has had a busy academic year so far producing events, original research, and engaging activities.

Events:
In the past year, the Rudin Center hosted a wide-variety of events, including speeches by:

To see more recent Rudin events, click here.

Research:
The Rudin Center analyzes transportation policy and management in New York City and beyond. The results of our analysis is often published as a report or publication on the Rudin Center site.

Recent Reports:

Activities:
Just last month, the Rudin Center hosted the first ever NYC Bus Hackathon in partnership with the MTA and supported by TransitCenter. A full review of the event can be read here.

Press:
Rudin Center reports and publications are often cited in news articles. Additionally, Rudin Center staff are frequently asked for comment on transportation issues. Included below are some examples of press coverage:

  • Sarah Kaufman in Wired, “Google and the Feds Team Up to Build the City of the Future” (Link)
  • Mitchell Moss in AMNY, “L train could face Manhattan-Brooklyn shutdowns in 2017” (Link)
  • NYU Rudin Report in Politico New York, “NYU urban planners counter pope-visit gridlock predictions” (Link)

For more Rudin Center in the news click here.

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.

What We’re Reading This Week

Tomorrow the Rudin Center, in partnership with TransitCenter and  the MTA, with support from Carto DB and Google, will host the Staten Island Bus Hackathon. This hackathon, the first of its kind in NYC, is an opportunity for civic-minded technologists and planners to produce proposals for faster, more effective bus transit for Staten Island, where the bus network is being updated for the first time in decades. We are proud to say that the Hackathon is at capacity, so we hope you’ll stay tuned for a recap of the event and highlighted solutions!

In the meantime, here’s our weekly round-up of transportation news:

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.

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.

Event Recap: Peripheral Proposals

Equity. Achieving greater equity in NYC’s transportation systems is a challenge that each presenter explored at Monday night’s Peripheral Proposals event at the Van Alen Institute. This event was part of the Van Alen Institute’s fall festival, Periphery!, which seeks to explore the ever-evolving edges of cities.

Peripheral Proposals re-capped:

  • Sarah Kaufman, our assistant director for technology programming here at the Rudin Center, announced the Rudin Center’s latest project, “Intelligent Paratransit,” funded by a grant from TransitCenter. The project, beginning with a close look at current paratransit practices and system updates, will explore ways tech can be applied to improve service and simultaneously reduce costs–especially important given the context of an increasingly large aging population.
  • Eric Goldwyn, doctoral candidate at Columbia University, presented snippets of his explorations of Brooklyn’s dollar vans. His research follows changes to dollar van routes along Flatbush Avenue and the population/demographic changes that they mirror. Discussing the overlap of dollar-van routes and bus routes, he argued that there are no “transit deserts” in NYC, saying instead that many New Yorkers “have adequate access to inadequate services.” Whether a complement to the bus system or a detractor, Goldwyn points to the apparent void that dollar-vans fill for so many commuters and that their very existence along bus routes is evidence of inadequate service. Conclusion?  Bus service is in need of a re-design.
  • David R. Jones, President & CEO of the Community Service Society, brought the audience’s attention to the financial periphery with a discussion of the affordability of NYC’s transit system from the perspective of the poorest of New Yorkers. His take-away? Given the current state of transportation funding in NYC, in order to provide reduced or free fares to those who need them most, a revenue stream must be identified to provide the funds to fill that gap.
  • Joanne Rausen, Assistant Commissioner of Data & Technology at the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission, described the TLC’s efforts to make their data available to innovators and their own use of data to improve service. But, she also took the time to acknowledge that these innovations come with some difficulty as both users and providers have concerns about privacy and how the data is used. The nugget I pulled from Joanne’s presentation is that infrastructure is not just about physical structures anymore, but also about IT.
  • Lastly, Douglas Adams of the Waterfront Alliance concluded the presentations with an overview of NYC’s plans for an expanded  ferry system. Adams mentioned several important frontiers needing innovation, including better connections to other modes of transit, which may come naturally with increased density along NYC’s waterfront, and the deployment of ferry service as a critical transit alternative should one of the Hudson River tunnels come offline.
  • One brief proposal was mentioned by Adrian Untermyer selected from the Rudin Center Emerging Leaders program to respond to the panelists. In his capacity as Deputy Director of the Historic Districts Council, he hopes to bring new life, through the arts, into the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

In summary, many New Yorkers find themselves at the periphery, where reliable transportation options may not be available or may not come in an officially recognized form. It is at this periphery that innovation and leadership are most needed.

Pro-tip of the night: The question of how to successfully push for policy change was floated to the panel, in an answer slightly reminiscent of the godfather’s offer, Sarah Kaufman responded, “Present a solution that’s too good to be ignored.”

Photos by Kait Ebinger.

Event: “Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars?” with Sam Schwartz

Thursday, November 12th from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
The Puck Building, The Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue
295 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012-9604

Join us to hear Sam, aka Gridlock Sam, Schwartz talk about his new book Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and The Fall of Cars. You’ll be taken on a journey from Ebett’s Field in the 1950’s to Barclays Center today and discover how the ways we get around shape the places we live.

Register here.

“A readable and provocative book making the convincing claim that the best city is one in which people can move around easily.” —Kirkus Reviews