Visiting Scholars and Summer Researchers

(comic courtesy of friends on social media)

Summer is upon us once again. As with previous years, we will have several researchers joining us for the summer as visiting scholars or graduate researcher assistants (on top of the PhD student researchers, the summer undergraduate researchers, and ARISE students that we employ). 

Dr. Tai-Yu Ma will be visiting us from LISER for the second of his three year visiting scholar program. Last year we collaborated on dispatch/positioning algorithms for bimodal shared taxi and public transit service. 

Prof. Daniel Rodriguez-Roman from UPRM is making a shorter summer stay at NYU through the Faculty Resource Network. We will be collaborating on public transit network design problems (sorely needed as the MTA plans to redesign the bus network!). 

In addition, Assel will continue to work in our lab this summer, while one of our incoming Fall 2018 PhD students, Anthony Haoran Su, will be joining us from Berkeley to start earlier in the summer. Milos Balac, a PhD student of Prof. Kay Axhausen at ETH Zurich, will also be visiting for the summer to help us with our MATSim model development. Welcome, Anthony and Milos!

Looking forward to a productive and fun summer!


Heba Omholt awarded Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship

Heba Omholt, a student in the MS in Transportation Planning & Engineering program and a recent C2SMART-funded research assistant in the BUILT lab, has been awarded a Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship. The award is the amount of $5000 and an additional $1500 travel expenditure to attend TRB Annual Meeting in 2018. Heba joined NYU in Fall 2017, after just completing her B.S. in  Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from University of California, Davis.

Congratulations to Heba, NYU’s newest Eisenhower Fellow!

Calls for papers for two journal special issues

Prof. Chow is co-editing special issues for two top journals in the transportation field.
The first is in IEEE ITS Magazine (recent impact factor of 3.654), with Xiaopeng Li at USF, Monica Menendez at ETHZ, Sean Qian at CMU, and Xiaobo Qu at UT Sydney. The issue focuses more on the technological advances in emerging mobility systems:
The second is in TR Part C (recent impact factor 3.805), with Feixiong Liao and Harry Timmermans at Eindhoven, and Song Gao at UM Amherst. This issue focuses more on user and operator behavior and decision-making:


Research on smart repositioning of idle vehicles published in TR Part E

One of the biggest challenges in operating on-demand mobility services is the need to dynamically reposition idle vehicles, whether they are taxis, shared vehicles/bikes, or empty shuttles. This latest research with Dr. Hamid R. Sayarshad at Cornell University proposes new models and algorithms to anticipate future demand for the problem by approximating future opportunity costs with queue delay. In addition, we formulated a lower bound of the queueing-based location model from Marianov & Serra that can be solved much more computationally efficiently. Simulation tests in a controlled study area with NYC taxi data suggests the feasibility of nearly 30% improvement over myopic positioning techniques that do not use data to look ahead.

This work was initially undertaken when Hamid was a PhD student with funding support from the Canada Research Chairs program. Resources from C2SMART are also acknowledged.

NSF-funded publication quantifies taxi sharing consumer benefits

Recently, TLC announced using Via’s software to enable yellow taxi sharing ( in favor of a taxi sharing policy. Our latest NSF-funded paper with researchers from NYU Tandon, CUSP, and Courant (Ziyi Ma, Matthew Urbanek, Maria Alejandra Pardo Baquero, Xuebo Lai), now in press, quantifies this benefit for riders that use taxi to access the airport (~10% improvement in consumer surplus) and demonstrate how different matching policies can significantly affect the spatial distribution of that benefit.

Ziyi Ma was supported by the NYU Undergraduate Summer Research Program. Joseph Chow was partially supported by National Science Foundation grant CMMI-1634973. The JFK airport taxi mode choice survey was shared by PANYNJ, which is gratefully acknowledged.

The open access paper can be found here: