NYC Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner Jessica Tisch today unveiled new technology to modernize and enhance DSNY’s snow cleanup operations in preparation for the upcoming winter season.
The state-of-the art system, known as BladeRunner 2.0, centralizes the deployment and real-time tracking of snowplows, salt spreaders, and brining vehicles, and replaces outdated technology first launched in 2015. Bladerunner 2.0 has been deployed ahead of this year’s snow season, which forecasters predict will be heavier than last year’s. The system will also be used to track DSNY collection and cleaning operations year-round.
“With forecasters predicting a snowy winter, we’re revolutionizing how we track our snow operations and using new technology to keep New Yorkers safe,” said Mayor Adams. “We’ve never been more ready for snow season, thanks to our new Bladerunner 2.0 software that will allow us to better track and support our fleet of approximately 5,000 vehicles across all five boroughs. And we’re doing this in a way that is fair and equitable, so that there is no longer a system of first-, second-, and third-tier streets with different communities receiving different levels of service. Now, every street in all five boroughs is on a plow and salt route. And to help support our efforts, the best thing New Yorkers can do to help us get the roads clear when there is a storm is to stay off them — use mass transit if you must travel, so our plows, salters, and briners, now powered by Bladerunner 2.0, can do their jobs. We’re ready, New York.”
“New York is good to snow,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “With new investments in our snow management technology, we are ensuring that New York is second to none in winter storm preparedness. We’re readying ourselves for whatever the season throws our way.”
“New York City is ready for whatever winter weather comes our way,” said Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack. “DSNY, and agencies across the administration, have been hard at work drilling and preparing for the snow season. We won’t let snow stop the city that never sleeps.”
“There’s no business like snow business — and there’s no city that can come close to New York when it comes to preparing for snow season,” said DSNY Commissioner Tisch. “As the city’s former chief information officer, I know firsthand the transformative impact that smart, innovative, technology can have on government. BladeRunner 2.0 is a state-of-the art system that reflects this administration’s commitment to using technology to better serve this city, and I’m proud of DSNY’s continuous efforts to enhance and streamline snow cleanup operations.”
“I’m ‘snow’ excited about the rollout of BladeRunner 2.0,” said New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) Commissioner Zach Iscol. “BladeRunner 2.0 ensures that every corner of our city receives timely and efficient snow removal services — reflecting this administration’s commitment to keeping New York City safe and operational, regardless of the weather. As winter gets underway, I encourage New Yorkers to stay informed through Notify NYC, the city’s verified emergency alert system — the coolest way to keep up and stay ahead of winter weather.”
“Whether the forecast calls for a few flurries or a blizzard, New York City never flakes on winter weather responses,” said Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser. “The deployment of BladeRunner 2.0 is yet another example of this administration using real-time data to improve city government operations and benefit the lives of New Yorkers.”
BladeRunner 2.0 features significant technology enhancements to better support snowplow, salting, cleaning, and collection operations, including:
- Enhanced GPS tracking data for broader time windows, multiple vehicles, and extended history;
- Google map integration to provide a modern view — with satellite and street view access — for vehicles and facilities;
- Real-time brine progress data;
- New visual layer data with brine coverage locations, snow preposition points, and protected bike lane information;
- Ability to locate vehicles of interest through proximity features and advanced time frame and location search capabilities;
- Significantly enhanced search capabilities; and
- New cloud-based system to allow for more concurrent users and faster response times.
Ahead of any predicted snowfall, DSNY will activate its snow command center, where Bladerunner 2.0 is housed, to track operations around the city. Each of the thousands of DSNY superintendents have been trained to use the system, which will be available in all 59 DSNY garages. New Yorkers will still be able to utilize PlowNYC to track snowplowing progress in their neighborhoods.
“…nearly $500 million investment in new trucks in the past two years, …”
In addition to this new technology, DSNY is also heading into snow season with its highest headcount in 20 years. This, in addition to a nearly $500 million investment in new trucks in the past two years, means DSNY is better equipped than ever to clear snow on the city’s 19,000 lane-miles of roadway.
“Every street in New York City is on a plow and salt route…”
As a result of this investment and other operational changes, streets will no longer be categorized as “primary, secondary, and tertiary,” a system where different communities received different levels of service. Every street in New York City is on a plow and salt route, and every route will be dispatched when conditions warrant. This includes real-time service of bike lanes as well.
Photo credit: 1-2) Eric Adams.