Andy Riga of the Montreal Gazette interviewed me on Frequent Network branding, in response to the roll out of such a brand by their local transit agency, the STM.
The most useful big-picture idea, in retrospect, is probably this:
Many urban opinion leaders in North America have formed their idea of good transit from travelling in Europe, where many cities have rail networks that feel complete. In London, Paris, and Berlin, rail seems to be going everywhere that most people, and certainly most tourists, want to go. So these opinion leaders come away with the view that building great transit is about expanding rail.That attitude is colliding with the urgency of transit improvement in North America [and Australasia], where most cities have incomplete rail networks if they have them at all. Faced with the big sustainability challenges that are coming on, these cities are discovering that they need quality transit sooner, and in more places, than they can possibly deliver with rail network expansions.So it no longer makes sense to say that the “good” transit network is the rail network. We need brands and systems of communication that help people see where their good services are, regardless of whether they’re rail or bus or ferry or gondola. And since we all hate waiting, frequency is the most important variable to market!