Rudin Center Report: Expanding One Law Could Save New Yorkers Billions on Infrastructure

A report released June 24 by the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management (housed at NYU Wagner) shows New York could save taxpayers billions of dollars simply by authorizing widespread use of Design-Build procurement practices on public infrastructure projects.

The report, sponsored by the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) and RBC Capital Markets, highlights the success of Design-Build projects throughout the country in addition to its successful implementations in New York, despite State law dictating that it can only be used on a limited basis. The report calls on Albany to expand the practice to save taxpayers money and shorten the completion time on critical infrastructure projects.

What we’re reading this week

What we’re reading online this week:

  • Central and Prospect Park rush hour car traffic is reduced (Link)
  • Charter Bus startup looking to fill in transit gaps for residents of the outer boroughs (Link)
  • 3D print a bridge for your city (Link)
  • MTA Bus drivers conduct protest while on the job, clogging up parts of the city   (Link)
  • UES bicycle hit-and-run leads to offer of safety classes (Link)
  • De Blasio and Cuomo differ on picks for MTA board (Link)

And in case you missed it, we’ve launched our applications for this year’s Emerging Leaders in Transportation program. See more information here.

Photo: Traffic in Kuala Lumpur by Michael Loke

By: Sean Lewin

Apply now: Emerging Leaders in Transportation Fellowship

The Emerging Leaders in Transportation fellowship program aims to make transportation more efficient, effective and people-oriented through its stellar early-career employees.

In this competitive fellowship program, participants will learn from top transportation and management professionals to enhance leadership skills, communication techniques and policy work to bring innovative ideas into practice. During three half-day sessions, emerging leaders will build long-term leadership goals and will focus on developing innovative projects and ideas within an organization. Two additional sessions will include behind-the-scenes visits to major transportation facilities for hands-on learning about industry goals and challenges.

The program will take place over five half-days: October 21, 23, 28, 30 and November 4, subject to change slightly. 

Session topics will include: leadership, innovation, communications, building support for innovation, practical applications.

Sessions will include talks from and with esteemed professionals and group discussions and exercises. Participants will be expected to complete assignments between sessions, and by the program’s conclusion, should have a plan to introduce an innovative solution or concept within their workplaces.

Application Timeline:
  • June 15, 2015: Application period opens
  • July 31: Applications due
  • September 10: Fellowship class selection announcement
Apply below or by clicking here:


  • The Emerging Fellows program is open to transportation professionals with up to 10 years of experience.
  • There is no cost for participating in the program.
  • Applicants are welcome from any location; however, we are unable to subsidize travel or lodging for participants.
  • No AICP or other continuing education credit is available for this program.

If you have questions about this program, please email

View last year’s fellowship class here.

This program is supported by a grant from the University Transportation Research Center.


The Future of the Streetscape Photos

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.

What we’re reading this week

What we’ve read this week:

  • “The architecture becomes a solution to an almost unsolvable puzzle.” Designing 2 World Trade Center (Link)
  • Citi Bike to release new fleet of upgraded bikes (Link)
  • Staten Island pushes for travel by Tram (Link)
  • Old subway photos show packed train cars in vintage form (Link)
  • An underground park could be making its way to the LES, pending Kickstarter donations (Link)
  • Transit travel is severely limited by the shortage of wheelchair accessible subway stations, as shown on this map (Link)

Photo By: IamNigelMorris                                                                                              By Sean Lewin

What we’re reading this week

Articles of the week:

  • Coming soon? Heads-up display attachment on a bike helmet   (Link)
  • LaGuardia inches toward a much-needed face lift   (Link)
  • Should New Yorkers wear seat belts in taxis?  (Link)
  • Uber, on its five-year anniversary, talks future plans  (Link)
  • A new app for parking ticket magnets (Link)
  • Local high school seniors come up with solution to fix MTA’s garbage crisis                                                                                                              (Link)

Photo By: Jackie.lck                                                                                                       By Sean Lewin

What we read last week

What we read online last week:

  • Highways and bridges in search for improvements as House passes short term bill                                                                                             (Link)
  • Futuristic island park sails into Hudson River Park                                   (Link)
  • New high-speed commute that will help you avoid Long Island beach traffic (Link)
  • 2nd Ave subway shows off fresh design and rat-free stations  (Link)
  •  San Francisco could face major remodeling in the face of the I-280 teardown.           (Link)
  • Check your news feed while keeping your eyes on the road? New distracted driving technologies abound. (Link)
And: don’t forget to sign up for our June 11 event about the future of the streetscape. More info here.
By Sean Lewin
Photo above by Robert McEwen

Subway Manners

 It has become a trend in many major Metropolitan cities to make riders aware of proper subway etiquette.  Below are several Subway Etiquette advertisement posters to inform  from New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Tokyo.  The first two ads were part of an etiquette campaign in the early 1900s by the New York Board of Transportation.

New York
New York
New York
New York

These ads focus mainly on ‘manspeading’ and keeping your belongings to yourself.  It is interesting to compare how each city addressed this campaign.  Philadelphia and Chicago took a more aggressive and straight to the point approach.   Philadelphia titled it’s ads “Dude It’s Rude”.



Chicago was quite frank with their messages towards riders who speak loudly or play loud music while on the train.


Boston and Tokyo went a comical route.  Boston incorporated parrots into their advertisement.  Tokyo created an extreme situation of a passenger taking up too much space on the train.








New York City and San Francisco stayed conservative with their messages.

New York
New York
New York
New York
San Francisco
San Francisco


We’re looking forward to seeing which ads turn out to be most effective!

Exploring challenges in transportation and infrastructure