Basics

Since 2009 I’ve been writing articles on how to understand public transit and make it better.  You don’t want to read all 1200+ articles.  Some were about a passing event, or a local issue.

Here are the ones you should read, explanations of big concepts, problems, or opportunities that you need to think about if you’re going to do your part to make transit better.

What is Transit? Why Transit?

Big Ideas

I get philosophical sometimes.

Wouldn’t ___ Be Cool?

New things keep appearing, and I try to figure out what they’re for.

The Inescapable Facts

Things you really have to think about when you think about transit.

  • How Universal is Transit’s Geometry?  Most of what we know about transit is true anywhere in the universe. This is the first draft of my Bortworld thought experiment, later refined here.
  • The Math of Park-and-Ride.  Want to park at a station? It’s harder than it looks.
  • Walking Distance to Transit
    A huge range of consequential transit planning decisions depend on assumptions about how far customers will be willing to walk.
  • Branching: Transit Is Like a River
    What does it mean for transit service when a line splits in two? Sometimes this isn’t as simple as it seems.
  • Want Freedom? Love Grids.
    Properly designed (and geography permitting), a grid of frequent transit routes offers the most efficient transit mobility across its extent.
  • “Be on the way!”
    If you are a building a place that you want people to use transit to get to, it must be located somewhere that transit can serve efficiently.
  • “Transferring” Can Be Good!
    Making connections between two transit routes is often thought of simply as a hassle or inconvenience, but transfers are key to the true freedom of mobility a frequent transit network can provide.

We Need Transit For ____!

Thinking about particular kinds of places, or groups of people …

And One Other Thing …

  • The Case for Frequency Mapping
    One of the most important aspects of transit is how often it comes, but one of the fundamental tools to understanding transit service rarely communicates this effectively.