Transit Tech Lab, a program founded by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Partnership for New York City, has released a proof of concept (POC) report detailing the results of the company’s Operational Efficiency and Human Capital Challenges solution, which was launched at the start of 2023 in partnership with NYMTA, NJ Transit, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), and its “potential for bringing new technology to the public sector while improving the public transportation experience for millions of people in the tri-state area.”
According to Transit Tech Lab’s report (download below), the program received nearly 150 applications from companies around the world. To select the most compelling solutions, subject-matter experts and executives from participating transit agencies evaluated each company and selected 23 semifinalists. Of those, 15 companies were selected to participate in the finals—a 50% increase from the 2022 cohort.
In May 2023, Transit Tech Lab says the companies began an eight-week POC phase, working closely with their respective transit agency partners to “test and implement their solutions to enhance operational performance and improve employee recruitment and retention.”
In response to post-pandemic reduced ridership and revenue, New York City regional transit agencies are seeking tools that can reduce costs while increasing efficiency, according to Transit Tech Lab.
Highlights of the Operational Efficiency Challenge include:
- Lux Modus (Calgary, Canada) collected 142 GB of data across 27 miles of track at four MTA and NJT locations. Lux Modus used its technology to generate 3D maps, which can help improve the accuracy of asset management systems and potentially replace expensive and manual surveying methods.
- Humatics (Waltham, Mass.) monitored a five-mile stretch of track from NJT’s Grove St Station to Newark Penn Station to help detect track anomalies and provide early warnings of potential maintenance needs.
- Signapse AI (Guildford, U.K.) applied their technology to translate thousands of words on webpages into ASL videos as well as demonstrated its ability to of create live announcement videos in train stations, airports, and ferry terminals which would help improve transit accessibility for deaf and hard-of hearing riders.
- ThroughPut Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.) analyzed lead times for over 10,000 products used by Metro-North maintenance teams to create a data-driven recommendation plan for rebalancing inventory across 142 locations, which has the potential to help mitigate unnecessary operational spend.
New York City regional transit agencies, along with other public transportation agencies across North America, are facing a workforce shortage, according to Transit Tech Lab. To meet service needs, agencies are seeking tools to improve employee recruitment and retention through the Human Capital Challenge.
Highlights include the following:
- Jetdocs (Ontario, Canada) deployed its Microsoft Teams-integrated digital ticketing solution with more than 145 MTA and PANYNJ staff, demonstrating the tool’s potential to reduce internal bottlenecks and increase process transparency.
- eSkill Corporation (North Chelmsford, Mass.) tested three job postings with PANYNJ and one mock remote proctoring exam with the MTA in their digital talent assessment platform, demonstrating a 40-50% time savings by the hiring managers compared to traditional analog methods.
- Pyxai (Boston, Mass.) tested its video-enabled interview screening tool to screen for 16 key soft skills over two job postings, demonstrating the tool’s ability to highlight overlooked talent and increase qualified candidate pools.
“It was great having the Transit Tech Lab team responsible for locking in and facilitating weekly updates, with plans of action for all parties—this let the companies focus more on their POCs than planning,” stated an MTA Project Manager.
“This was my first time participating in the Transit Tech Lab initiatives and I would be more than willing to participate in future iterations. The team is supportive and non-biased to the process,” stated a PANYNJ Project Manager.
DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT BELOW: