Transportation and Tech Intersect as UN General Assembly Gridlock Hits NYC

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A man looks at the MTA subway map on his iPhone (photo by bjallen via flickr)

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.