The Transit Innovation Partnership and partner agencies Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NJ TRANSIT and NYC Dept. of Education have announced eight finalists for the COVID-19 Response Challenge, a global competition calling for technologies to increase public transit safety and responsiveness in the midst of the pandemic. Selected out of nearly 200 applicants, the eight companies will now implement their innovative solutions across the NYC-area agencies for rapid evaluation. If successful, companies may be chosen for a year-long pilot to deploy their tools at scale.
The companies that will begin testing their products in an eight-week proof of concept are:
Beyond (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Individually leased folding electric bikes and scooters to expand public transit access*
CASPR Group (Dallas, Texas)
Disinfection technology that works with ambient air to provide continuous air and surface protection without harmful chemicals or an operator
CitySwift (Galway, Ireland)
Provides riders and train operators with capacity levels for trains and buses
Kinnos (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Visualizes disinfection through colorized powder formula that dissolves into liquid bleach
Knorr Merak (Munich, Germany)
Air filtration and purification solution
Piper (San Diego, Calif.)
Collects real time passenger crowding data from trains and platforms for integration with mobile apps and in-station displays
Strongarm (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
Wearable technology to promote worker safety and social distancing
Vyv (Troy, N.Y.)
Continuous non-UV antimicrobial light to reduce bacteria/microbes from surfaces
The COVID-19 Challenge was launched in July by the Transit Tech Lab, building on MTA’s cleaning measures to help riders return confidently to transit. Nearly 200 submissions were received. Last month five transit agencies – the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, NJ TRANSIT, New York City Department of Education, and New York City Department of Transportation – were presented with a variety of solutions from 16 companies, including seven based in New York. More than 50 public and private sector evaluators reviewed submissions.
“We have a great group of companies we selected from the over 200 applicants who will work with MTA and the other agencies to find innovative solutions to issues created by the pandemic,” said MTA Chief Innovation Officer Mark Dowd.
*The Beyond proof of concept will not commence customer scooter use until after November 23, 2020. The Transit Innovation Partnership and MTA will work with NYC DOT to ensure the proof of concept meets the city’s guidelines and regulations.