Tech and the City
Betabeat has had open government on the brain this week, so we called up Girish Chhugani, senior advisor at the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT, pronounced “Do it!”) to talk about the city’s newly launched NYC Open Data initiative.
Mr. Chhugani is both the project lead for NYC Big Apps–Mayor Bloomberg just launched version 3.0 of the contest at NYTM–and the man responsible for transferring the city’s heterogeneous data sets on everything from traffic to crime to electricity consumption to school attendance into something more developer-friendly.
The city is looking to improve the nickel-and-dime-based technology that fuels ours parking meters, and it’s on the hunt for someone with the technology to help. “New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced a Request for Proposals for a pilot program to allow motorists to pay for parking using cellular phones and electronic devices,” the agency says. An electronic system would eliminate the need to involve dirty pieces of metal in the transaction and allow drivers to pay in a wider range of increments. The city hopes to roll out a test program with about 300 parking spaces, the location of which has yet to be decided.