Category Archives: urban planning

NYU Rudin Center Emerging Leader Featured in NY Times

Adrian Untermyer, deputy director of the Historic Districts Council and alumnus of the NYU Rudin Center Emerging Leaders program, was featured in The New York Times today. He has organized the installation of a piano in the Port Authority Bus Terminal to make commutes more pleasant. As noted in the article, “Mr. Untermyer said he made connections that he used to advance the piano project when he had an Emerging Leaders in Transportation fellowship at New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation Management last fall.”

The NYU Rudin Center is proud of Adrian’s work and is looking forward to enjoying piano concertos in the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Read the full article here.

New Report: Intelligent Paratransit

Our new report, Intelligent Paratransit, is available for download here.

Executive Summary

As Americans aged 65 or older increase from fifteen to twenty percent of the population by 2030, cities across the United States will face a transportation crisis. Urban residents who are physically unable to use public transportation, including the disabled and mobility-impaired elderly, are offered paratransit services. These paratransit systems, as required by an unfunded 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act mandate, are enormous, and growing annually in new applications and budget requirements.

Paratransit demand is growing nationwide and costs continually increase (now $5.2 billion nationwide); the user experience is often reported as poor. To address efficiency and user experience, this report assesses the state of paratransit, analyzes innovative solutions in three cities and recommends potential technological solutions. The Intelligent Paratransit Technological Upgrade Framework includes improvements in the areas of Onboarding, Reservations, Dispatch & Routing and User Experience. Key technological recommendations include:

  • Ride reservations should be available through multiple channels: phone, apps, SMS messaging, physical infrastructure on the street and wearable technology for riders.
  • Paratransit agencies must collaborate with taxis and app-based car services, including Uber, Lyft, Via and SilverRide, to integrate efficient services.
  • Services connecting riders to transit should feature real-time, in-vehicle data integration with transit services to optimize accessibility of trips.
  • As cities grow in language diversity, paratransit vehicles should feature on-board translation apps and call-in numbers to better service all riders.

By applying new technological systems to a 26 year-old mandate, paratransit services can be made more efficient and provide a better customer experience. In New York City, these upgrades could save the agency up to $133 million per year. Improving mobility solutions for the elderly and disabled is possible, necessary and urgent.

Reimagining Southwest Brooklyn

The NYU Rudin Center for Transportation hosted Reimagining Southwest Brooklyn last week. Chris Ward of global engineering firm AECOM presented a redevelopment plan that would add thousands of residential units to the Brooklyn waterfront and a subway connection to lower Manhattan.

Read the Southwest Brooklyn study here.

L Train Closure: CityLab Coverage

The NYU Rudin Center’s report “L Train Closure and Mitigation,” was covered in CityLab last week.

“MTA and city leaders had better get a game plan in place, according to the report’s authors. They suggest some obvious steps, such as bolstering subway service on other lines, ramping up the frequency of ferry connections, and adding high-speed bus service over the Williamsburg Bridge during peak hours. Increasing car-share options and creating partnerships with the likes of Uber and Lyft should also be on the table.

And, as the authors point out, the L train closure might also be an opportunity to pursue some outside-the-box transit improvements, like a scooter share system modeled after San Francisco’s and even a high-speed gondola.”

Read the full article here.

L Train Closure and Mitigation

The L train tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn will close fully to trains for 18 months in 2019 to repair extensive damage from Superstorm Sandy.  The L has become synonymous with the Brooklyn brand; ridership at Brooklyn’s Bedford Avenue station has increased more than thirty percent since 2010.

The NYU Rudin Center addresses the effects of this closure in our newest report, “L Train Closure and Mitigation,” written by Mitchell L. Moss, Sarah M. Kaufman, Jorge Hernandez and Sam Levy.

This report analyzes how the L train’s surrounding Brooklyn communities will absorb the economic impact of this tunnel closure: jobs, commutes dining and nightlife will be affected, and recommends mitigation measures.

Download the report [pdf]

Read the Wall Street Journal coverage.

How NYC Won the Olympics

New York City’s bid to host the 2012 Olympics resulted in a spate of new development, despite the selection of London as the host city. The NYU Rudin Center report, “How New York City Won the Olympics,” describes how the 2012 plan shaped development and transformed major areas of New York City.

Mitchell L. Moss, NYU Rudin Center Director and author of the report, commented to DNA Info: “New York got everything that’s desirable out of the Olympics without any of the burdens” in an article this week: How NYC’s Failed 2012 Olympic Bid Shaped the City We Live in Today.

Job Access report featured in NY Times

The NYU Rudin Center’s report, “Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods” was featured in The New York Times this week. The article applied lessons learned from New Yorkers living in transit deserts to those dreading the L train’s impending closure.

Sarah M. Kaufman, NYU Rudin Center assistant director, commented in the article: “‘It is a perpetuating cycle because rents are closely correlated to transit access’ … adding that people with long commutes often face hardships like higher child care costs because they get home later.”

Talking Traffic on Popular Mechanics

NYU Rudin Center Assistant Director Sarah Kaufman spoke with Popular Mechanics on Facebook Live yesterday. The conversation covered gridlock, bikes and driverless cars while sitting in traffic. Check out the video here: