Sen. Schumer proposes ‘Nerd Bus’ route for NYC tech startup community

mta nerd bus line nyc tech startups public transit
New York City could soon have a “Nerd Bus” route, created specifically for the city’s growing population of technology entrepreneurs. The proposal for this new bus route was announced today by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who wants the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to connect “all points of NYC’s tech boom,” which includes neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens.

The MTA recently announced plans to establish a new bus route in the “Brookly Tech Triangle” that is made up of the DUMBO neighborhood, downtown Brooklyn, and the Navy Yard area along the East River, where new office space is being built, much of which will be filled with technology startups. Another proposed route would connect residential neighborhoods along the East River, including Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn, and Long Island City in southern Queens.

“New York is seeing a major tech boom, with Brooklyn and Long Island City leading the way, and now the new Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island is going to be a game changer that further cements New York’s position as a leader in tech,” said Schumer in a statement. “You don’t need a PhD to know that connecting these neighborhoods through a ‘Nerd Bus’ is a no-brainer.”

“The only thing separating these neighborhoods in New York City is a lack of transit connections,” he continued. “We need a high-speed rapid transit connection between Roosevelt Island and the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, with stops at new hubs like Long Island City and the Navy Yard, and residential areas in Greenpoint and Williamsburg.”

NYC technology map

Technology startups, once natives of central California, have become an increasingly important part of New York City’s economy in recent years. Nearly 500 NYC-based startups received funding between 2007 and 2011, reports the Huffington Post. The number of technology-centric jobs has risen 30 percent in New York since 2007, according to the Center for an Urban Future (pdf). And the NY Tech Meetup, started in 2004, now boasts nearly 26,000 members.

Not surprisingly, New York politicians are doing all they can to foster further growth in this booming technology economy. In May, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled the Made in NY Digital Map, which pinpoints thousands of “digital companies,” venture capital firms, and group work spaces in the city. The map also points out companies that are currently hiring.

Sen. Schumer has more than done his part to help the NYC tech community this week. Speaking before the Senate on Tuesday, Schumer pushed for changes to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, which is set for a vote on Thursday, that he says are necessary to help technology startups grow and innovate. He also took time to praise NYC as a boom center of technology innovation.

“…Silicon Valley may have given us the semiconductor, but New York City, in my opinion, will be the birthplace of the next great generation of internet giants,” said Schumer on the Senate floor.

“New York entrepreneurs started Foursquare and Tumblr, Etsy and Kickstarter. Code academy is training the next generation of entrepreneurs,” he said. “Venture capital is flocking to New York to help these start-ups. For the first time we’re getting engineers and scientist whose want to be in New York. And we’re still not at the level of Silicon Valley but we’re probably number two in the country in this regard. Like all New Yorkers we want to be number one at some point.”

The MTA has not yet responded to Sen. Schumer’s proposal, but we hear that Schumer’s office expects to hear back soon.

Emerging Tech

Rise of the Machines: Here’s how much robots and A.I. progressed in 2018

2018 has generated no shortage of news, and the worlds of A.I. and robotics are no exception. Here are our picks for the most exciting, game changing examples of both we saw this year.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Parker Solar Probe captures first image from within the atmosphere of the sun

NASA has shared the first image from inside the atmosphere of the sun taken by the Parker Solar Probe. The probe made the closest ever approach to a star, gathering data which scientists have been interpreting and released this week.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Say cheese: InSight lander posts a selfie from the surface of Mars

NASA's InSight mission to Mars has commemorated its arrival by posting a selfie. The selfie is a composite of 11 different images which were taken by one of its instruments, the Instrument Deployment Camera.
Emerging Tech

Researchers create a flying wireless platform using bumblebees

Researchers at the University of Washington have come up with a novel way to create a wireless platform: using bumblebees. As mechanical drones' batteries run out too fast, the team made use of a biology-based solution using living insects.
Emerging Tech

Bright ‘hyperactive’ comet should be visible in the sky this weekend

An unusual green comet, 46P/Wirtanen, will be visible in the night sky this month as it makes its closest approach to Earth in 20 years. It may even be possible to see the comet without a telescope.
Emerging Tech

Gorgeous images show storms and cloud formations in the atmosphere of Jupiter

NASA's Juno mission arrived at Jupiter in 2016 and has been collecting data since then. NASA has shared an update on the progress of the mission as it reaches its halfway point, releasing stunning images of the planet as seen from orbit.
Emerging Tech

Beautiful image of young planets sheds new light on planet formation

Researchers examining protoplanetary disks -- the belts of dust that eventually form planets -- have shared fascinating images of the planets from their survey, showing the various stages of planet formation.
Emerging Tech

Delivery robot goes up in flames while out and about in California

A small meal-delivery robot suddenly caught fire in Berkeley, California, on Friday. The blaze was quickly tackled and no one was hurt, but the incident is nevertheless a troubling one for the fledgling robot delivery industry.
Emerging Tech

High-tech dancing robot turns out to be a guy in a costume

A Russian TV audience was impressed recently by an adult-sized "robot" that could dance and talk. But when some people began pointing out that its actions were a bit odd, the truth emerged ... it was a fella in a robot suit.