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NYC Partnership Sets Sights on Mass Transit Health, Safety

The New York MTA and the Transit Innovation Partnership have announced the third round of the Transit Tech Lab, which will focus on improving mass transit safety amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

man on NYC subway
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(TNS) — The Transit Tech Lab, a program focused on identifying and testing innovative transit-based technologies to improve network service and bolster customer experience, has now set its sights on enhancing mass transit safety amid the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The MTA and the Transit Innovation Partnership have announced the third round of the Transit Tech Lab, this time seeking private companies that can provide innovative technological solutions to make transit safer, cleaner, healthier and more responsive.

“To truly modernize every element of how we run our transit system, you have to look far and wide for new ideas,” said Interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg. “That means tapping into the city’s robust entrepreneurial and technology scenes and thinking in new ways about how a vital institution like New York City Transit can embrace innovation in everything it does.”

The Lab offers the MTA a faster, less expensive way to test and review new technologies developed by the top transit innovators in the world.

The MTA is seeking submissions for products that can improve health and safety throughout the transit system, specifically products that can eliminate contaminated aerosols in a confined environment.

Other transit agencies seeking submissions, like the New York City Department of Transportation, New Jersey Transit, and the Port Authority, are seeking a broader set of technologies including, but not limited to:

  • Thermal monitoring tools and systems to automatically measure body temperatures
  • Cutting-edge cleaning materials and equipment such as electrostatic sprayers, new-design air filtration systems, light-based systems and anti-microbial shields
  • Approaches to measure and encourage distancing in shared transit spaces
  • Tools to measure, communicate and mitigate crowding in trains, buses, stations and other shared spaces
  • Tools and frameworks to identify and communicate potential exposure risks
  • Tools to measure and support the use of masks and other personal protective equipment
  • Innovations in personal protective equipment, including contactless vending and fare card machines, mask and shield designs, sanitizer dispensers, and partitions
  • Approaches and technologies to redesign shared spaces and fare collection in vehicles and stations to encourage cleanliness, health, safety and distancing
  • Platforms to expand customer feedback and communication opportunities
  • Autonomous cleaning robots and robotic equipment to support cleaning crews
  • Secure digital services to further support mental and physical health among transit employees, such as counseling, coaching and self-care platforms
  • Tools to support remote transit employees such as secure cloud platforms for infrastructure monitoring, situational awareness, operations and service delivery
Companies interested in applying are required to submit an application by July 30 at transitinnovation.org.

“The pandemic hit us in New York like no other place in the country. MTA took unprecedented steps the past four months, opening itself up to innovative ways to reduce the risk to our riders and our workers,” said MTA Chief Innovation Officer Mark Dowd.

“We are excited to partner with the Transit Innovation Partnership in our quest to find new technologies and approaches that safely remove contaminated aerosols from our public transit system,” Dowd added.

©2020 Staten Island Advance, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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