New York subway coronavirus poster

Photos: Marc A Hermann/MTA New York City Transit

USA: Eight finalists have been selected for the Transit Innovation Partnership Covid-19 Response Challenge, a global competition seeking to evaluate technologies to increase public transport safety and responsiveness during the coronavirus pandemic.

The competition was organised by New York’s Transit Innovation Partnership programme, with the involvement of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, NJ Transit and New York City’s departments of Education and Transportation

The eight companies selected from nearly 200 applicants will implement their technologies on the transport agencies’ networks for eight weeks of proof-of-concept evaluations, ahead of a possible year-long pilot project intended to facilitate deployment at scale.

‘Utilising new technologies is one of the key pillars of an effective strategy to prevent the spread of Covid-19’, said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. ‘This competition, resulting in highly promising finalists, is a hugely positive step forward. The Port Authority is eager to see these impressive technologies piloted in real world settings and to study the efficacy of their implementation in our facilities across the region.’

Covid-19 Response Challenge pilot projects
CompanyTechnologyPrimary partner agencies
Beyond (Brooklyn, New York) Individually leased folding electric bikes and scooters to expand public transport access New York City Transit
CASPR Group (Dallas, Texas) Disinfection technology that works with ambient air to provide continuous air and surface protection without harmful chemicals or an operator New York City Transit
CitySwift (Galway, Ireland) Provides riders and train operators with capacity levels for trains and buses New York City Transit
Kinnos (Brooklyn, New York) Visualises disinfection through colourised powder formula that dissolves into liquid bleach Port Authority
Knorr Merak (München, Germany) Air filtration and purification New York City Transit, Metro-North, NJ Transit. Long Island Rail Road is also testing this.
Piper (San Diego, California) Collecting real time passenger crowding data from trains and platforms for integration with mobile apps and in-station displays Port Authority, NJ Transit
Strongarm (Brooklyn, New York) Wearable technology to promote worker safety and social distancing NJ Transit
Vyv (Troy, New York) Continuous non-UV antimicrobial light to reduce bacteria/microbes from surfaces NJ Transit