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In the smart city race, we’re betting on transit

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Belinda Miller
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Comprehensive and large-scale smart city innovations will start to emerge where we least expect them.

Not in our streets or in our buildings, but below them, in the subways, commuter rail and mass transit of global cities.

While the rest of the world has been in a constant upheaval over the past decade, reinventing itself with technology and new business models, mass transit systems have stayed largely static — doggedly, determinedly moving millions of people each day with little influence from outside tech.

Just the fact that your mobile device works underground is cause for celebration, and a single line of text on an LED readout telling you when the next train is arriving is a small miracle.

Mass transit takes the human experience of cities and turns it up to 11

If culture clashes are what makes cities thrive — where ideas bump up against each other and swirl together to make new things like jazz, hip hop, the kimchi burger, the Cronut — nowhere does this friction play out more than within a transit system.

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Belinda Miller
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