Alex Wagner, political commentator, spoke at this morning’s annual NYU Rudin Center Breakfast at The Modern.
Photos: Don Pollard
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.
Shashi Verma, Director of Customer Experience at Transport for London, spoke at the Rudin Center on Wednesday, October 28th about London’s experience with next-gen fare collection systems, making the point that customers don’t want a ticket, they want transportation. During his time at TfL, Verma has focused on ways to drive down the costs associated with revenue collection and redirect those funds to improve the customer experience.
Verma’s presentation focused on how London has implemented contactless card payments and how this has and will continue to shape the London transit system. He noted that 20 percent of England’s contactless card transactions are TfL-related. The crowd was amazed to learn that riders are refunded automatically when they are significantly delayed by signal failures or other issues.
Photos by Don Pollard.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx visited the NYU Rudin Center on July 21st. He spoke about “Transportation, Social Mobility, and Cities,” on a panel with David R. Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society of New York, Sarah M. Kaufman, Assistant Director for Technology Programming at the NYU Rudin Center, and Patrick Sharkey, Associate Professor of Sociology at NYU. The panel was moderated by NYU Rudin Center Director Mitchell L. Moss.
The discussion focused on improving access to education and job opportunities, as featured in the Rudin Center report “Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods.” Secretary Foxx shared his childhood experiences that led him to value the importance of transportation in upward mobility. Sharkey emphasized the need for low-income populations to escape clustering effects. Jones explained the exceptional difficulties faced by low-income workers trying to travel in NYC, and Kaufman recommended the use of data for intelligent transit planning.
Photos by Don Pollard.
Last night’s discussion about the future of the streetscape was exciting! We’re looking forward to a collaborative planning process for whatever comes our way. Thanks to our thoughtful and energetic panelists:
- Sean Basinski, Director of the Street Vendor Project
- Neil Giacobbi, Executive Director, Public Affairs, AT&T
- Stacey Hodge, Director of the Office of Freight Mobility, NYCDOT
- Jeff Risom, Partner and Managing Director, Gehl Studio
- Dani Simons, Director of Corporate Communications & External affairs, Motivate
- Rodney Stiles, Director of Research & Evaluation at New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission
- Anthony Townsend, Senior Researcher at NYU Rudin Center for Transportation
- Moderator: Sarah Kaufman, Assistant Director for Technology Programming, NYU Rudin Center for Transportation
and thank you to the Van Alen Institute for the great photos and gracious hosting.
Image above: Cardboard apartment, via Andere Achterhuizen on Flickr
This is what we’re reading this week on the web:
- New Yorkers are ditching buses for subways (link)
- Middle East politics: now arriving at a station near you? (link)
- Afghan girls, forbidden from riding bikes, are skateboarding instead. (link)
- A MetroCard redesign we’re excited about (link)
- The bright lights of NYC may dim (link)
- Cortland St. station on 1 line receives a long overdue facelift (link)
Compiled by Sean Lewin, research assistant.
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.
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.
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!