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Wanted: Research Assistants

The NYU Rudin Center for Transportation seeks enrolled or incoming graduate students to work as research assistants starting in fall 2015.

The Rudin Center for Transportation at NYU’s Wagner School aims to strengthen our understanding of all modes of transportation through research, public forums, and educational programs. Current areas of focus include: Information technology and transportation systems, inequality and access to employment, urban bike share systems and the future of supercommuting.

RAs are responsible for assisting in background research, data analysis, writing, event planning, and web content, depending on organizational needs.

Candidates do not need direct job experience, but should be interested in transportation in cities. RAs must work a minimum of 12 hours per week.

Interested applicants should exhibit 2-3 of these skills:

  • Data analysis, terminology and applications
  • Knowledge of or experience in transportation planning
  • Strong writing skills
  • Ability to communicate with variety of stakeholders
  • Event planning and coordination
  • Policy research
  • PowerPoint/Keynote and presentation development
  • GIS and spatial analytics, including ArcGIS
  • WordPress
  • Microsoft Excel

Please highlight relevant skills and your degree of proficiency in your resume or cover letter.

To Apply

Interested candidates should email the required documents below as attachments to rudin [dot] center [at] nyu.edu with the subject line “RA Application.”

  1. Current resume
  2. Cover letter
  3. Writing sample (1-3 pages or URL)
  4. Portfolio of relevant web-based, design, programming, or data visualization work (not required)

 

New York University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

 

Lily and Nolan hit the streets to chat it up with The Policy Shop
Research Assistants Lily and Nolan hit the streets to chat it up with The Policy Shop

Big Data Fest

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!

Jorge Hernandez and a visitor at the NY Hall of Science
Jorge Hernandez and a visitor at the NY Hall of Science

The Rudin Center in the News

The NYU Rudin Center has appeared in the press recently, discussing policy, tech and social media:

  • Smart buses and public transportation can be compatible – Sarah Kaufman in Wired. (link)
  • How NYC “has merit as a subject of art” – Mitchell Moss in the Wall Street Journal. (link)
  • Benefits of Citi Bike’s weekend reset – Mitchell Moss in The New York Times. (link)
  • Social media keeps transit riders informed – Sarah Kaufman in Government Technology. (link)
  • Anthony Townsend named to Chicago’s Internet of Things Council – Chicago Tribune. (link)

Image above: Interior of Leap Bus, via Wired.

Farewell to Traffic Lights

Sarah Kaufman, Digital Manager, wants New Yorkers to prepare for change.

“In the coming decades, a familiar overhead sight—this one fully a product of the automobile age—may disappear. The disappearance of the familiar green, yellow, and red circles above our heads will mark a profound transformation in the way we move through cities.”

Sarah illustrates how cities are transitioning away from traffic lights in a new piece from Satellite Magazine. Read more and explore some of the questions involving this trend.

Big Data, Big Picture

Next City talks to two of our researchers, Anthony Townsend and Sarah Kaufman, about patterns in big data and challenges cities face in using it. And they ask, would you share your private data for the good of city planning planning? Well, would you?

“As the data accumulates, these traffic schemas acquire a third dimension: They show a city changing not just from day to night, but from year to year.

They show a city changing not just from day to night, but from year to year. Using cellphone data, for example, “you can really see the story of how a metropolitan area has evolved, over the last decade,” says Anthony Townsend, the author of Smart Cities.

Many of these ideas are hypothetical, for the moment, because so-called “granular” data is so hard to come by…Corporate entities, like Uber’s pending data offering to Boston, don’t always meet researchers’ standards. “It’s going to be a lot of superficial data, and it’s not clear how usable it’ll be at this point,” explains Sarah Kaufman.”

Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods

In January 2015 The NYU Rudin Center for Transportation released a new report: “Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods,” focusing on the variations of job access by transit throughout New York City.

Although public transit provides access to jobs throughout the New York City region, there are actually substantial inequalities in mobility. By focusing on the neighborhood level, the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation has identified communities that are substantially underserved by the public transportation system.

“In New York, mass transit is the path to economic mobility, not education,” Mitchell Moss, Rudin’s director, told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s far more important to have a MetroCard than a college degree.” (Gothamist)

In New York City neighborhoods where people are heavily dependent on transit but access to jobs via train or bus is mediocre, 67 percent of workers commute by transit. In these areas the average income is lower than the city average, at $46,773, and the unemployment rate is 11.7, the highest in the city.

“It’s exactly these commuters, who live just beyond the reach of convenient transit but lack the resources to own a private car, who could benefit most from improvements to the city’s transit network.” (Streetsblog)

The report recommends that policymakers increase the number of transportation modal options across the city, maximize use of existing transportation infrastructure, and foster the ability to work remotely. These solutions will benefit all New Yorkers’ access to job opportunities and economic improvement.

“We need to link transit to areas that aren’t likely to get a new subway system — using … a variety of buses, more customized buses to link people to the mass transit system,” [Moss] says. “In some cases it’s getting people to mass transit that’s the challenge.” (Vox)

 

This research was supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and Google.

 

Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods: A New Report

The NYU Rudin Center for Transportation announces the release of a new report: “Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods,” focusing on the variations of job access by transit throughout New York City.

This research was supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and Google.

Job Access Map

From the Introduction:

“The ability of a public transportation network to physically link residents to jobs has become a central point of concern for urban policy in an era of uneven unemployment and rapidly changing job markets. The economy of New York City is unique in North America due to its high uptake of public transportation. Here, 56% of the population uses transit to reach work; an individual’s ability to access a job is largely a function of how well their neighborhood is served by the public transportation system. This report presents direct measurements of job access in New York City, and contrasts the levels of access that are experienced in the city’s many neighborhoods…

To improve economic opportunities citywide, the NYU Rudin Center recommends that policymakers increase the number of transportation modal options across the city, maximize use of existing transportation infrastructure, and foster the ability to work remotely. These solutions will benefit all New Yorkers’ access to job opportunities and economic improvement.”

Report maps by NYU Rudin Center, linepointpath and Datapolitan.

 

December Events: Transportation Futurism, Tech and Thought

Please join the NYU Rudin Center at three exciting events in December:

December 3, 9am: Re-Programming Mobility: What Do Smart Phones and Self-Driving Cars Mean for Future Cities?  Based on the report Re-Programming Mobility by Dr. Anthony Townsend, NYU Rudin Center Senior Researcher. For more information and to RSVP visit:  http://wagner.nyu.edu/events/rudin-12-03-2014

December 9, 6:30pm: Open in NYC: Open technology and tools for city government. Join Sarah Kaufman, NYU Rudin Center Digital Manager, and several other experts showcasing the latest location-based works in NYC, at Google NYC. RSVP here:  https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/open-in-nyc-tickets-12168378949

December 9th, 7:30pm: Cities +, Presented by the NYU Rudin Center and Satellite Magazine. Five lightning talks from transportation experts in video, data, ridership, collaborative planning and mapping at The Way Station in Prospect Heights. More information and RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1489962491284066

We hope to see you on December 3rd or 9th at one of these fantastic events.

Artwork above by Jeff Ferzoco, linepointpath, for Re-Programming Mobility. 

 

Event Recap: Short Talks, Big Ideas

Last night’s Short Talks, Big Ideas featured the best in transportation innovations of late:

Arlene Ducao showed off her MindRider brain wave-tracking bike helmets, which help map biking stress points in NYC.

Richard Dunks discussed the missing link in data processing (what to do with all this data), focusing on his Water Street Corridorscope project (with Jeff Ferzoco).

Paul Salama showed the potential for green loading zones, such as priority delivery windows for electric trucks.

Jose Soegaard taught us the importance of a functional NYC waterfront, including ferries that have been used in emergency evacuations.

Malinda Foy showcased new work at MTA Bridges and Tunnels, and fielded several questions about potential for biking on bridges (answer: hopefully!).

Neysa Pranger dove into potential uses for beacon technology to improve transit by sharing applicable information to riders’ devices.

Ryan Russo shared Vision Zero’s important initiatives to improve pedestrian safety in New York City, estimating that two million speeding tickets will be issued in 2014.

John Biggs discussed travel in reality and fiction, including his new young adult novel, “Mytro,” featuring a magical worldwide subway.

The event was moderated by Sarah Kaufman, NYU Rudin Center for Transportation. Please contact her if you have a big idea to share at the next event.

 

See the photos below (by Lauren Holter and Sarah Kaufman, in a very dark room) and visit the tweetstream for further discussion.

Introducing the Emerging Leaders in Transportation Fellows

Congratulations to the inaugural class of Emerging Leaders in Transportation! We are thrilled to welcome these impressive individuals this fall to the NYU Rudin Center to amplify their leadership skills, develop new ideas to bring to their workplaces, and create an innovator network among local transportation organizations. We can’t wait to see what they do.

Meet the Fellows:

 

Onyinye Akujuo, from Queens, NY is an Assistant Director of Grant Management for the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA); she has delivered over 8 years’ experience in public service with a major career focus on the transportation funding and planning sector.

John Baker is Technical Staff at Consensus Systems Technologies, where he specializes in geographic information systems, regional ITS architectures, systems engineering, and the design and implementation of ITS standards.

 Stephanie Camay is a Lead Planner at Parsons Brinckerhoff, with experience in a variety of assignments including alternative analyses for rail and bus rapid transit corridors, neighborhood transportation studies, transit feasibility studies, EIS documentation, and stakeholder and public participation strategy development and implementation.

Graham Cavanagh: With an MS in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute and now working at the NYC DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner’s Office, Graham Cavanagh has been greatly influenced by the values of communication design and community participation in the planning process – with the intention to promote safe, healthy, and innovative Cities.

Jana Langhammer is an electrical engineer at JFK Airport, aviation geek born in Prague, world traveler, surfer and piano player.

Andrew Lappitt works at TransOptions, a transportation-oriented nonprofit in New Jersey and has a strong interest in communicating the impacts of transportation planning concepts and principles to the public.

Aviva Laurenti is a traffic engineer (and avid cyclist) working at Sam Schwartz Engineering primarily on transportation analyses for environmental review documents with experience in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Christopher Lee is a Senior External Relations Representative for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, focusing on Government and Community Outreach to elected officials and groups in the Boroughs of Staten Island and Manhattan.

Stephanie Lotshaw is a Program Manager in the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy’s US & Africa office; her work focuses on helping cities on both continents to implement gold-standard BRT and has also recently focused on working with cities to develop high quality transit-oriented development (TOD).

Dawn Miller is the Executive Director of Strategic Planning at the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission, where she focuses on improving access to safe, convenient, high-quality for-hire transportation throughout the city.

Jacob Nussbaum: Originally from Charleston, SC, Jacob graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 with a BA in Urban Studies and currently works for JetBlue Airways in Revenue Management.

Kate Rube is the Transportation Program Manager at Project for Public Spaces, and she works to foster great streets and sustainable communities through policy, training, and technical assistance work.

Frank Ruchala Jr is an associate city planner and urban designer at New York’s Department of City Planning’s Manhattan Office where he is the primary project manager for Midtown Manhattan.

Patrick Sabol: As a researcher at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, Patrick’s work is focused on identifying, developing, and implementing innovative new approaches to infrastructure funding and finance.

Rodney Stiles is a graduate of the Bloustein School for Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, and he is coming to terms with being an expert on the taxi industry in New York City—a symptom of years of combing through millions of taxi trip and administrative records to find answers for his bosses.

Tiffany-Ann Taylor is a formally trained Urban Planner with a passion for transportation planning, emergency management, public policy and community infrastructure.

Midori Valdivia is currently a Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the Port Authority and has a background in urban planning and financial management.

Ema Carol Yamamoto: Equipped with degrees in civil engineering and transportation planning, Ema works to advance the state of transportation in Philadelphia as a Planner/Analyst for Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities.

Beth Zall is a Transportation Planner at Parsons Brinckerhoff who is currently actively involved in the Port Authority Midtown Bus Master Plan effort.

 

The fellowship will be directed by Sarah Kaufman of the NYU Rudin Center.

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