Winners named in New York high-tech Covid response challenge

Winners named in New York high-tech Covid response challenge

A tool that optimises bus performance, a micromobility company that will study how e-bikes and scooters could be safely integrated into mass transit and a disinfectant colourant were the successful solutions in the New York Transit Tech Lab’s Covid-19 Response Challenge.


The Lab is a public-private initiative, created by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Partnership for New York City, to bring private sector innovation to improve public transit. The three winners of the challenge will implement high-tech solutions across the MTA and the Port Authority for New York & New Jersey.


Global response


The challenge was launched in response to the pandemic and fielded more than 200 global applicants. The companies selected showed promising results after a 12-week proof-of-concept and will scale their solutions across their respective partner agencies. This effort builds upon the agencies’ unprecedented efforts to enhance cleaning and improve service as riders return.


The companies that are deploying their products in a one-year pilot are:


Beyond (New York, NY)

Primary partner agency: MTA

Technology: Individually leased folding electric bikes and scooters. Demonstrated preliminary examples of how e-bikes and e-scooters could be safely mobilised on public transit.


Cityswift (Galway, Ireland)

Primary partner agency: MTA

Technology: Provides capacity levels for trains and buses. The platform predicted capacity along bus routes; tracked, monitored and automatically reported performance, predicted run times, and optimised timetables.


Kinnos (Brooklyn, NY)

Primary partner agency: Port Authority

Technology: A proprietary colourised powder formula that dissolves into liquid bleach. With the additive, the Port Authority measured a 63 per cent improvement in disinfection coverage within a facility.


The challenge represents the third cycle of the successful Transit Tech Lab programme. Previous graduates of the programme include Remix, a collaborative digital platform used to redesign the bus routes, and Axon Vibe, which built the Essential Connector smartphone app to help essential workers plan journeys during overnight subway disinfection closures.

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