Category Archives: presentation

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.

Shashi Verma of Transport for London spoke at the Rudin Center

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.

Event: The Future of the Streetscape

Please join the NYU Rudin Center and the Van Alen Institute on June 11 for an evening of discussion:

How will the streetscape look and function in 20, 50, and 100 years?

The urban streetscape is facing increasing demands for space from a variety of users – pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, a spike in deliveries to homes and offices, food trucks, mobile commercial spaces, and more – without recalibrating the permitting or design. Join us for a series of presentations that ask urban planners, designers, architects, and others: What is the street of the future? We’ll review new visions for pleasant, productive streetscapes that balance the needs of transportation infrastructure, commercial activity, and residents young and old.

Sarah Kaufman, Digital Manager, and Anthony Townsend, Senior Research Scientist, will present at the event on behalf of the Rudin Center, along with esteemed professionals from throughout the transportation and tech fields.

Tickets and more information are available here:

Students: Please email the Rudin Center for discounted tickets.

Image above via Flickr user Mel Schmidt


Recap and Photos: Citi Bike Data Showcase

Last night’s Citi Bike Data Showcase brought a full, fun crowd to talk about visualizations, apps and nuances of Citi Bike use and analysis. Hosted by the Rudin Center and emceed by Noel Hidalgo of BetaNYC, the event featured several brief talks:

  • Dani Simons, Director of Marketing at NYC Bike Share, showed how the organization uses its data to manage bike fleets and where the system expansion may occur going forward.
  • Jeff Ferzoco (linepointpath) and Alex Chohlas-Wood (NYU CUSP) discussed their upcoming project of calculating bike salmoning.
  • Aaron Fraint (Hunter College) showed his favorite coding tools for analysis and visualization, including some processes that can take three days to complete.  (link)
  • Ben Wellington (I Quant NY/Pratt) demonstrated the process of map creation using Citi Bike and NYC data with free coding tools.
  • Sarah Kaufman (NYU Rudin Center) discussed gender, Citi Bike, and the modern freedoms reflective of women’s discovery of pantaloons.
  • Amy Wu and Luke Stern (SVA) redesigning Citi Bike’s checkout and kiosk process

Frank Hebbert (Open Plans) closed out the event by showcasing his new #bikestoday tool, which automatically counts bikes riding past.

See event photos below (by Jeff Ferzoco).

New Event: Short Talks, Big Ideas

Join the NYU Rudin Center on Monday, April 7th at 6:30pm to learn about new projects and thinking on the frontiers of transportation. Speakers will deliver lightning presentations about their work and ideas, followed by networking, refreshments. We guarantee the audience will learn something new.


Speakers confirmed for this fifth edition of the event include:

Malinda Foy, MTA: The Access-A-Ride MetroCard
Lily Gordon-Koven, NYU Rudin Center: Citi Bike Trends
Nina Harvey, ARUP: Tech-Enhanced Urban Experiences
Stacey Hodge, NYC DOT: NYC Freight Mobility
Jacqueline Klopp, Columbia University: Open Transit Data for Nairobi
Stewart Mader, Subway NY NJ, Putting PATH on the Map
Jen Petersen, Revolution Rickshaws, Put Your [   ] on a Trike
Kate Rube, Project for Public Spaces: Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper – and Healthier
Andrew Salzberg, Uber: Uber in New York
Dani Simons, Citi Bike: Mainstreaming Biking
Moderated by Sarah Kaufman, NYU Rudin Center for Transportation

Join the discussion on Twitter at #BigIdeas14

This event is co-sponsored by the University Transportation Research Center.

NYU Rudin CitiBike Presentation at TRB

ActiveStartStations_LGK_0108 [Converted]

NYU Rudin Center Director Mitchell L. Moss and Research Assistants Lily Gordon-Koven and Nolan Levenson presented new findings on CitiBike at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in January.

Findings will be compiled into a post on this site, including interactive maps. A preview is at left, showing most active journey start stations – mostly around the city’s transit hubs. Check back for a full writeup this week.