human transit, age two

The second birthday of this blog passed unnoticed, especially by me, about two weeks back.  I was jetlagged at the time, so confusion about dates was to be expected.

Things have been a little quiet here as I've moved through a series of location changes while focusing my spare time on the book.  But I'm encouraged by the stats. 

At the end of the first year, a year ago, I had written 242 posts, logged 3666 acceptable comments, and about 2000 pageviews per weekday.  Today, those numbers are 585 posts, 9807 acceptable comments, and still in the range of 2000-3000 pageviews per weekday, spiking unpredictably now and then but also crashing predictably every weekend.  So while readership is rather stable, engagement with the material (at least as measured by comments) is accelerating.

The two posts that have gathered the most attention, in links and other citations, are:

  • Streetcars: an Inconvenient Truth.  This July 2009 post said something very narrow and factual about the North American streetcar revival movement. 
  • Is Speed Obsolete?  The beginning of my debate with Prof. Patrick Condon about the merits of slower vs faster transit services.  Now that he and I are in the same city, we may get to do more of this in person …

Both of these are the opening of long conversations that extend through several linked posts.  Both also feature rich and interesting comment strings. 

I'm relieved to say that my book (out this northern fall) will steer firmly away from all the technology wars, though the question of transit's ideal speed, for both efficiency and urban form, does figure prominently.  The nucleus of some chapters is already here in my Basics series of posts. 

Per Google Analytics, the total traffic for the last year was:

752,705 pageviews
357,899 visits
116,143 unique visitors

And everyone loves lists of cities, so the top metro areas in readership for the second year were as follows.  The number is individual visits.

DSCN0937 24910 Vancouver
18715 Seattle
13006 Portland
11983 Los Angeles
10305 San Francisco (Bay Area)
10229 Toronto
10171 Washington
9628 New York
8112 Sydney
7802 Melbourne
6312 Brisbane
6136 Chicago
4040 London
3434 Minneapolis-St. Paul
2895 Atlanta
2857 Canberra
2821 Auckland

On a per capita basis that's a pretty spectacular result from Canberra (metro area pop. 400,000).  Of course, Sydney, Canberra, and Vancouver are the three cities I've actually lived in during the past year. 

The same data broken down by country, for countries with at least 1% of the total:

212,868 USA
68,025 Canada
27,890 Australia
9,275 UK
4,573 New Zealand
3,776 Germany
3,072 France

… the rest mostly smaller European countries and a thin scattering elsewhere in the world.

Thanks to everyone who's been part of this great conversation so far!  This year will bring a number of changes for me, but I'll do my best to keep this going in some form.  And remember, good guest posts are welcome!

9 Responses to human transit, age two

  1. Ben April 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Thank YOU! This is one of the most interesting blogs I keep tabs on, especially considering that it’s totally out of the scope of what I normally do and care about (agriculture). It’s just absolutely fascinating.

  2. Onesimo April 21, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Thank you Jarrett for all your excellent posts, Keep it up! I’ve been visiting your blog for roughly a year, and have learned quite a bit. Thanks.

  3. Carter R April 22, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    LA finally beats SF in something transit related!

  4. Sean April 22, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    Thanks for a fascinating couple of years, Jarrett, and here’s to many more.
    I’m quite amazed that Vancouver came out so convincingly on top of the viewing statistics – I’m not sure of the significance of that. I’ve always thought of Toronto as being a more transit-oriented city, but perhaps I’m wrong on that. Or maybe it’s just because more of our local bloggers (such as Gordon Price of Price Tags) have linked to you…

  5. Alon Levy April 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    I’m more than a little annoyed by the lack of Northeastern readership. The planners in New York, and I think to a large extent also the other cities in the area, could definitely use your advice on stop spacing, frequency-oriented branding, and how things work abroad. The only differentiation of service over here is subway vs. Potemkin BRT vs. regular bus, with no understanding of frequency – as a result of which, the city chooses wrong corridors to upgrade and makes little effort to improve the regular buses.

  6. Chris M April 23, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    Just want to add to the heap of praise you’ve received Jarret. One of my favourite blogs, and probably the one I’ve learned the most from. Not being a transit planner that learning may be of limited use, but I’ve enjoyed it nonetheless.

  7. Anne April 23, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Ah Jarret. You are a rare bird indeed, with a wonderful perspective on transit planning (loved the transfer vs. connection post!) Your manifesto says it all. If only there were more like you!
    I’m very glad I found your blog. Keep up the great work, and congratulations on your two year anniversary! Also, best of luck with your upcoming book.
    BTW – I also really appreciate the quality of the comments you get here, which is far and away above the standard of those on the other transit blogs I’ve visited. So congratulations to your commenters too!

  8. James A April 23, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    Congratulations, Jarrett. Although I don’t post nearly as often as I should or could, I’m sure I account for a majority of those pageviews from Germany. Keep up the good work!

  9. Kathy April 26, 2011 at 6:07 am #

    I also thank you. This blog is so interesting and well written, both posts and comments. And, like Ben said, totally out of the scope of what I normally do. I am learning a lot and look forward to continue learning even more. I even have a guest post in my mind.