NYMTA Transit Tech Lab Releases Results of Operational Efficiency, Human Capital Utilization Challenges

Originally posted on RailwayAge.com


The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Partnership for NYC Transit Tech Lab on May 9 reported the results of its Operational Efficiency and Human Capital Utilization challenges, in which 15 companies have been selected to collaborate with regional transit agencies and test technologies, such as AI (artificial intelligence), LiDAR and edge computing, to “mitigate service disruptions, automate operations and combat workforce shortages.”


The finalists are slated to deploy their technologies over an eight-week “proof of concept” period with MTA, including New York City Transit (NYCT) and Metro-North Railroad; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANY/NJ)New Jersey Transit (NJT); and/or the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT). Successful companies may be chosen to engage in a yearlong pilot demonstrating technology at scale, according to Transit Tech Lab.


The Operational Efficiency and Human Capital Utilization challenges mark Transit Tech Lab’s fifth annual global competition, which garnered nearly 150 applications.


And the winners are:


Operational Efficiency Challenge


  1. ACCURE Battery Intelligence (USA and Germany): This provider of predictive battery analytics software, which is said to prevent battery fires and reduce the operations and maintenance costs of Electric Vehicle (EV) fleets, will partner with PANY/NJ, NYCT and NJT.
  2. Digital Mortar (San Rafael, Calif.): This company uses passenger flow sensors to provide real-time customer journey analytics for queue management, dynamic labor allocation, lost revenue analysis, and space planning and commercial real-estate optimization. It will partner with NJT.
  3. Humatics (Waltham, Mass.): This firm enables revenue service rolling stock to provide “near real-time monitoring of track condition with precise positioning of track anomalies for improved maintenance.” It will partner with NYCT and NJT.
  4. Lux Modus (Calgary, Canada): This company, which uses LiDAR and imagery fusion technology to automate 3D mapping to optimize asset management, will partner NYCT and NJT.
  5. Optibus (Tel Aviv, Israel): Partnering with NYCT, this firm will uses AI and optimization algorithms to “empower planners and operators to improve public transit schedules and routes, with the potential to digitize the bus operator bid/pick process to optimize service needs.”
  6. PavCon (Latrobe, PA): This company is said to use its domain expertise, existing technology, and maintenance/operational data to deliver predictive maintenance and parts supply forecasts. It will partner with Metro-North and NYCT.
  7. Signapse AI (Guildford, U.K.): This company is said to use AI to automatically translate written text to sign language, enabling scalable, less expensive, and faster accessible content for the Deaf community. It will partner with PANY/NJ, NYC DOT and NJT.
  8. Swiftly Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.): This firm provides a transit data platform for agencies to share real-time passenger information, manage day-to-day operations, and improve service performance. It will partner with NYCT and NJT.
  9. TekTracking (Fairport, N.Y.): This provider of mobile applications to automate the reporting process for track inspection and signal testing, will partner with PANY/NJ.
  10. ThroughPut Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.): This firm provides rapid supply chain diagnostics software that is said to enable immediate operational intervention, eliminating maintenance downtime caused by supply chain delays and unavailability of parts. It will partner with Metro-North.
  11. Wi-Tronix (Bolingbrook, Ill.): This company provides “an immersive, real-time IoT platform … for railroads and transit systems to continuously improve operations, safety practices, and service reliability.” Wi-Tronix is said to collect insights from onboard systems and enable remote visibility for customers to make decisions and respond to issues quickly and efficiently. It will partner with Metro-North, NYCT, PANY/NJ and NJT.
  12. Widesense (Berkeley, Calif.). This company provides “real-time AI optimized actionable guidance to fleet operator dispatch and maintenance teams for optimized work assignments and charging schedules.” The WideSense system is said to help EV operations “eliminate range anxiety, ensure service reliability, and become more cost competitive than diesel fleet operations.” It will partner with NJT.



Human Capital Challenge

  1. eSkill Corporation (North Chelmsford, Mass.): This firm provides a talent assessment platform, including an online testing library and a remote proctoring solution, to evaluate job candidates through a fully configurable online platform. It will partner with MTA and PANY/NJ.
  2. Jetdocs (Ontario, Canada): This company provides a centralized catalog for users to submit tickets, requests and approvals, which is said to enable standardization of processes to streamline workflows and enhance internal collaboration. It will partner with MTA and PANY/NJ.
  3. Pyxai (Boston, Mass.): This company offers a virtual video-enabled assessment platform that evaluates and collects data on soft skills (e.g., communication, problem solving, adaptability, etc.) that is said to help identify overlooked talent, improve retention rates and reduce recruitment costs. It will partner with PANY/NJ and NJT.


“For the past five years, the Transit Tech Lab has been proud to bring together talented public- and private-sector partners who are committed to building an exciting new future for our transportation system,” said Stacey Matlen, Vice President of Innovation at the Partnership for New York City.


“Every year, the leaders of the MTA present their most challenging issues to the Transit Tech Lab, and every year, the challenges orchestrated by the Lab deliver,” said Michael Wojnar, Senior Advisor for Innovation and Policy at MTA.


“By working with the Transit Tech Lab and its cohort of cutting-edge startups, we’re not only improving our operations and enhancing the customer experience, but also building the foundation for decades of future innovations that will make a better world not just for our riders, but for us all,” said Lookman Fazal, Chief Information Officer at NJT. “We’re proud to be part of this forward-thinking initiative and look forward to the benefits it will bring to our riders and the broader transportation ecosystem.”