Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo’s office
New York on Friday became the first state to officially launch a digital passport for the coronavirus, which involves a smartphone app that shows proof of an individual’s vaccination or recent negative test. Developed in partnership with IBM, the “Excelsior Pass” is designed like a mobile airline boarding pass and is part of the state’s plan to reopen businesses, entertainment venues, and wedding reception halls. Following a pilot program tested at a Brooklyn Nets game at the Barclays Center and at a New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden earlier this year, the app will expand to smaller arts and culture venues and theaters on April 2, the same day live performances can return to New York.
A vaccination site in Co-Op City in the Bronx. Photo by Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office.
In early January, NY Post reporter Hannah Frishberg shared the story of how she received a leftover dose of the COVID-19 vaccine when she happened to be at a Brooklyn clinic at the end of the day. The healthcare worker who was scheduled to receive that dose missed her appointment, and therefore “It was my arm or the garbage,” wrote Frishberg. Since then, leftover doses have become more and more sought after, with some New Yorkers lining up at sites from 7am in the hopes of getting lucky. And now, a new New York-based website called Dr. B allows you to sign up on a formal standby list to be notified when local providers find themselves with extra doses.
All the info here
Screenshot from the city’s Vaccine Finder website
Making good on its word, the NYC Health Department overhauled the city’s COVID vaccine scheduling portal to include real-time appointment availability. Previously, Vaccine Finder listed all providers but did not specify availability, meaning users would have to spend time filling out multiple registration forms just to be told there were no vaccines.
Courtesy of the MTA
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Tuesday released a new digital map of the New York City subway system that provides service updates to riders in real-time. As first reported by Curbed, this map uses data from the MTA to update as service changes are happening, allowing users to click on stations and individual train lines to see the actual wait time for the next train. When zoomed in on the map, little gray blocks move along the colored lines, depicting the train’s actual movement from station to station. Created by design and technology firm Work & Co., the map modernizes both Massimo Vignelli’s iconic 1972 map and the current map designed by Michael Hertz, combining the geometric and graphic design-friendly Vignelli map with the geographical elements of Hertz. The new live map is the first major redesign of the NYC subway map in 40 years.
Screenshots from the app on iPhone
Amid an uptick in cases in several clusters in Brooklyn and Rockland County, the New York Department of Health has launched a new, free app that will tell you if you’ve come in contact with a COVID-positive person. COVID Alert NY is available as of today for iPhone and Android. Using your phone’s Bluetooth technology, it will alert you if you’ve been within six feet of an infected person for more than 10 minutes.
Screenshots taken from the MTmta app
Many New Yorkers are having to start heading back to the office, and part of that anxiety is how they get there. For some, that means switching from the subway to the bus in search of more social distance. In fact, the New York Times recently reported that in April and May, bus ridership in NYC was higher than that of the subway for the first time in more than 50 years. And for those making the switch, it just got a lot simpler to feel at ease. The MYmta app now includes real-time data for the number of passengers on an arriving bus.
Flooded Battery Park Tunnel after Hurricane Sandy. Image: Timothy Krause via Flickr.
A barrier wall proposed by the Army Corps of Engineers as one of several options being evaluated to shield the New York area from rare storms–which may well become less rare and more destructive with global warming–is the subject of a heated debate among planners and environmental experts. Supporters suggest that a barrier be constructed in the outer New York Harbor where it’s mostly hidden from view, saying it would go the farthest in protecting people, land and valuable landmarks along the waterfront from a storm surge. Others fear the idea is a short-sighted measure that doesn’t address major climate threats–and could even worsen matters by trapping sewage and toxins during flooding from high tides and storm runoff. President Donald Trump, however, remains the sole proponent of the mop-and-bucket approach, as the New York Daily News reports.
What will save us from a tweetstorm?
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit / Flickr
By the close of 2019, the MTA had installed its OMNY tap-to-pay fare system at 64 subway stations across Manhattan and Brooklyn and all Staten Island busses. Some of the busiest spots that already have the contactless payment system include all 16 stations on the 4, 5, and 6 lines between Grand Central-42nd Street and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, as well as Penn Station-34th Street. According to a new press release, OMNY will now expand to 60 more stations by the end of January–including Herald Square, Bryant Park, World Trade Center, and Jay Street-MetroTech–bringing the total to 124 stations.
See all the new stations
The 2007 Times Square Ball during construction. Image courtesy of Focus Lighting.
When midnight hits this New Year’s Eve, the Times Square Ball will dazzle people just the same from five feet away or on their television. Making this magic happen is no easy feat, though. To learn a bit more about how the nearly 12,000-pound ball was created, we chatted with principal designer Christine Hope of Focus Lighting, the architectural lighting design firm who conceptualized the current ball more than 10 years ago. From engineering a new system to make all 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles sparkle to dreaming up the magical light show that plays leading up to the ball drop, Focus Lighting shares the inside scoop on this world-famous tradition.
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit / Flickr
At the end of May, the MTA rolled out its new tap-to-pay fare system, called OMNY (One Metro New York), at 16 subway stations on the 4, 5, and 6 lines between Grand Central-42nd Street and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, in addition to all Staten Island buses. After a successful pilot–OMNY surpassed three million taps last week–the agency has now announced that it will add the contactless payment system at 48 more subway stations next month, including Penn Station, Whitehall Street, and all stops on the 1 train between Rector Street and 59th Street-Columbus Circle.
See the full list of additions