Can New York Innovate Away its Public Transit Woes?

With a whopping average of 56 hours a year of delay per commuter, New York recently earned the number one spot for worst traffic congestion in Texas A&M’s Urban Mobility Report. One potential solution in clearing up all the blockage in the Big Apple is getting more people into public transit.

But for the MTA, increasing consistent public transit ridership isn’t a quick fix. In fact, it is a challenge of several different factors, including improving infrastructure quality, maintaining ridership, and incentivizing new users to ride public transit.

To discuss some of the strategies used to combat these challenges as well as overall trends observed in US public transit, Daniel Litwin, Voice of B2B, invited Mark Prommel, Partner & Design Director at Brooklyn-based product design firm, PENSA, to this episode of MarketScale TV.

The two explored what tech investments seem to have a good track record in New York’s public transit approach, as well as where the Federal CARES Relief money would be the most effective.

With 23 years of experience in NYC, Prommel explains that the power of the public transit system is in the interconnected communication between above-ground and underground systems. However, Prommel warns that none of that can start to take place until the backend infrastructure of the system is modernized.

“There’s an underlying foundation that has to be addressed. That’s really where any money has to be targeted at this point,” Prommel said.

They also explore public transit trends on a national scale, such as what professionals should be pushing for to meet these challenges, especially as the Biden administration funnels billions towards transportation revitalization, as well as how feasible strategies such as general promotions or free transfers between public transit are for incentivizing ridership in the long term.

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