MTA automation could come from New York-Israel trade partnership

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Technology resulting from a New York-Israel trade program could eventually lead to automation of New York subways, Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggests.
Ralph Spielman

JERUSALEM — Automation software for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority could be part of a program announced Thursday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a trade mission to Israel.

Cuomo announced a $2 million partnership with the Israel Innovation Authority for two new programs. One, Smart Cities Innovation Partnership, will share innovative technologies, research, talent, and business resources between cities in New York and those in Israel. Noting that companies in Israel are working on driverless technology, Cuomo suggested a rail application could allow the New York Transit Authority, Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North to operate with shorter running times, decreased train spacing, and less human error would be attainable. Companies in this sector could be looking at a project of well over $1 billion and receive cash and state tax incentives as well as becoming an MTA vendor.

Cuomo’s delegation included Ronnie Hakim, the MTA’s managing director, and Robert Mujica, the state’s budget director and an MTA board member. Hakim, quoted by Politico, said, "As the MTA embarks on a historic transformation, we want to make sure the best in class companies with the most innovative ideas and products know our needs and can respond.”

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