MTA and Transit Innovation Partnership launch coronavirus response challenge

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New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Transit Innovation Partnership have launched a “COVID-19 response challenge” to engage the private tech industry and rapidly evaluate and deploy innovative technologies that make public transit safer in light of the pandemic.

“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.

The challenge calls for companies to submit proposals by July 30 that satisfy critical pandemic-related health and safety objectives for the New York metropolitan region’s mass transit network.

“We look forward to supporting the MTA as it reimagines public transit to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 era.” said Rachel Haot, Transit Innovation Partnership executive director.

MTA is specifically seeking companies that have proven innovative technologies that can safely reduce or eliminate contaminated aerosols from its public transit system.

“As New York City reopens for business, we look forward to supporting the MTA as it reimagines public transit to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 era.” said Rachel Haot, Transit Innovation Partnership executive director.

The partnership is a public-private initiative the MTA and business group Partnership for New York City created in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s call for private sector innovation to improve public transit.

The state-run MTA, one of the largest municipal bond issuers with roughly $46 billion of debt, operates New York City’s subways and buses, Long Island and Metro-North commuter railroads, and several bridges and tunnels.

The other public agencies participating in the challenge — New York City Department of Transportation, New Jersey Transit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey — are seeking a broader set of improvements.

Companies submitting proposals that transit, tech and health sector evaluators deem promising may have the opportunity to implement their technologies with regional transit systems including the MTA.

Areas of interest include thermal monitoring tools, cutting-edge cleaning equipment, and tools to measure and mitigate crowding.

Companies can learn how to apply at the Transit Tech Lab website.

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