Episode #2

Transportation and Tech Intersect as UN General Assembly Gridlock Hits NYC

« previous episode | next episode »

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Motorists in Midtown may find their cars at a standstill Tuesday as the UN General Assembly kicks into high gear and President Obama heads to Jay Z's 40/40 club near Madison Square Park for a celebrity-studded fundraiser.

While world leaders who tend to cause the biggest traffic jams like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu  won’t be in town until next week, lesser-known dignitaries also bring on checkpoints, street closures and the inevitable gridlock.

The bottlenecks and detours are a headache for the drivers and cabbies plying Manhattan's roadways.

But they're also the perfect opportunity to explore how the MTA and the city's Department of Transportation are — or are not — using technology to help New Yorkers get around more efficiently.

This week on New Tech City, we tackle the intersection of transportation and tech.

Host Manoush Zomorodi talks to Transportation Nation's Alex Goldmark about the latest technology helping New Yorkers navigate the city by car, taxi, subway and bus, as well as what's missing from the city's plan to ease congestion on the roads and rails.

Then, around 5.3 million people ride New York City's 22 subway lines every day, but no one gets uninterrupted cell service below ground.   

Reporter Tracey Samuelson investigates just how long it will be until underground subway stations and the tracks between them get outfitted with Wi-Fi.

Plus, we'll introduce you to the perfect smartphone app for that New York stereotype: The neurotic subway commuter.


Alex Goldmark

Hosted by:

Manoush Zomorodi

Produced by:

Daniel P. Tucker


Charlie Herman


Tracey Samuelson
green light, traffic light

New Tech City: Near-Field Communcation Coming to Cars of the Future

New Tech City host Manoush Zomorodi talks to Alex Goldmark of WNYC's Transportation Nation about the future of technology and transportation.

Comments [2]

Comments [4]

Dolores Bittleman from Murray Hill NY NY 10016

I wasn't broken so they fixed it! I refer to changes to bus transfer intersections.

For example, east-west M34 bus stops are now mid-street. To transfer to a north-south bound bus requires a long walk to the Avenue and another long walk to a north-south bus stop.

This may seem trivial; but for elderly and disabled people, major users of bus transit, these thoughtless changes are an abuse of the riders.

Sep. 18 2012 09:00 AM
Steven Kopstein from Manhattan

Thanks for your program. I'd be interested in hearing more about CitiBike and how the technology works. I've used Bixi in Montreal and the similar program in Washington. It's fascinating to see how these stations know how many bikes are available and keep track of a pretty complicated system including how they track each individual bike across a large system, how they shuffle bike around to make sure there are bikes available etc.. CitiBike is coming to NY soon - it would be nice to learn more before the system opens.

Sep. 18 2012 08:06 AM
Jeff Bannon from Brooklyn

I often commute by car. When city streets are gridlocked, I spend way too much time stuck in my car. I'm eager for options to make that time productive, but refuse to text or email while driving.
I've heard about a new smartphone app ("Talkler") that will offer email access using only your voice. It's not in the iTunes store yet. Have you heard anything about it?
Jeff Bannon

Sep. 18 2012 06:14 AM

Now we will have our peaceful ride a thing of the past when one could read in the subway or talk to people because progress is going to have people all around us having loud one way banal conversations on subway platforms and people bemoaning that they can't talk all the way in the subway car to their destination. This is progress?

Sep. 18 2012 06:09 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.