MORE TO EXPLORE: Transportation

LEVERAGING TAXI AND FOR-HIRE VEHICLE NETWORKS TO IMPROVE TRANSPORTATION EQUITY FOR SENIORS

Client
NEW YORK CITY TAXI AND LIMOUSINE COMMISSION
Faculty
Sarah Kaufman
Team
Celeste Alsina, Joshua Koh, Liz Jae Yun Park, Khan Shing

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) licenses and regulates taxis, for-hire vehicles (FHV), paratransit, and commuter vans in NYC. TLC engaged a team to explore how the taxi and FHV industry can equitably improve access to transportation for the city’s seniors and aging residents, who face a litany of well-documented barriers to meeting their transportation needs. The Capstone team conducted extensive research into how the city’s existing transportation infrastructure serves seniors and older residents, analyzed the demography and geography of NYC’s senior population, and identified gaps and barriers specific to older populations in the transportation network. Based on its research, the team created a set of programmatic recommendations to improve access and affordability alongside a set of outreach recommendations to improve senior access to taxis and FHV networks.

Capstone Year

BETTER BUSES EQUITY ASSESSMENT

Client
NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Faculty
Elizabeth Larsen
Team
Rachel Brown, Ayesha Lilaoonwala, Caroline Morris, Maitri Pujara, William Sklar

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) initiated the Better Buses Action Plan in 2019 to improve the speed of buses throughout NYC by 25 percent and increase the number of bus riders by the end of 2020. Although the COVID-19 crisis impacted these plans, in June 2020 DOT launched Better Buses Restart, a program that focuses on improving service for vulnerable populations and essential workers on an expedited timeline. The team evaluated DOT’s project selection methodology through an equity lens to determine if DOT’s Better Buses projects are equitably distributed and assess whether DOT could do more to reach equity populations. The team conducted a comparative analysis of equity initiatives in other US cities, analyzed the needs of equitable populations, and evaluated how DOT serves these populations through its project selection, planning, engagement, and evaluation practices. The final report includes recommendations for how to improve the inclusion of equity in the DOT bus program.

Capstone Year

EVALUATING THE DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLE-COUNTING TECHNOLOGIES

Client
PORT AUTHORITY OF NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY
Faculty
Sarah Kaufman
Team
Nicholas Cowan, Katherine Key, Olivia Limone, Trish Malubay, Guang Zhou

Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH), a subsidiary of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is a heavy rail rapid transit system that serves commuters in Hoboken, Newark, Jersey City, and Manhattan. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and dramatic declines in ridership, PATH officials sought to address passenger concerns around safety, health, and overcrowding by engaging a team to evaluate the feasibility and procurement of a Car Density Information System (CDIS). Since a CDIS requires new hardware to monitor congestion on each train car and new software to relay information to passengers in real time, the team conducted extensive research and engaged with potential vendors and relevant stakeholders to ascertain the most vital criteria for assessing a range of technological solutions. Based on its findings, the team developed a robust scorecard and comprehensive report with recommendations to guide PATH’s procurement process of people counting solutions and other technologies necessary for PATH’s desired system improvements.

Capstone Year

Measuring the Impact of Streetscape Changes on Bus Service

Client
MTA New York City Transit
Faculty
Sarah Kaufman
Team
Adam Beckerman, Brendan Latimer, Jenee Malloy, Gretha Suarez, Yiyong Zhang

MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) is a public agency in New York State that operates public transportation in New York City. The NYCT Department of Buses manages an extensive bus network serving the five boroughs. A unique challenge facing NYCT is that buses operate on crowded, changing streets where they share space with a growing number of other users. NYCT Buses enlisted a Capstone team to analyze how streetscape changes in the past five years have impacted the speed and reliability of bus service. The team selected twenty locations citywide to study the effects of streetscape changes such as bike lanes, turn restrictions, and speed reduction treatments. The team analyzed bus performance and safety data, researched best practices in other cities, and conducted interviews with select NYCT staff and external stakeholders. Based on the compiled data, the team developed a comprehensive report with recommendations for public street changes that will enhance bus service.

Capstone Year