Synopses & Reviews
Public transit is a powerful tool for addressing a huge range of urban problems, including traffic congestion and economic development as well as climate change. But while many people support transit in the abstract, it's often hard to channel that support into good transit investments. Part of the problem is that transit debates attract many kinds of experts, who often talk past each other. Ordinary people listen to a little of this and decide that transit is impossible to figure out.
Jarrett Walker believes that transit can be simple, if we focus first on the underlying geometry that all transit technologies share. In Human Transit, Walker supplies the basic tools, the critical questions, and the means to make smarter decisions about designing and implementing transit services.
Human Transit explains the fundamental geometry of transit that shapes successful systems; the process for fitting technology to a particular community; and the local choices that lead to transit-friendly development. Whether you are in the field or simply a concerned citizen, here is an accessible guide to achieving successful public transit that will enrich any community.
"Excellent." Eric Jaffe
"The deeper you get into Walker's book, the more persuasive he becomes." Atlantic Cities
"Whether you are transit geek, a SkyTrain rider or an interested citizen, you will learning something by reading Human Transit. [It is] an accessible guide to thinking about public transit in an informed and systemic manner. It provides professionals, users, and citizens alike with the background to have informed conversations about this important topic." Lloyd Alter - Treehugger
"Intelligent, refreshing, balanced and richly mindful of the unique settings of individual communities."
provides practical guidance for urban public transit system development in prose that is clear and entertaining without being simplistic. This book should be useful to anybody involved in public transit planning, design, or advocacy."
"This book gives professionals, pundits and the citizenry the tools to have conversations that lead to real solutions rather than confrontations."
"Jarrett Walker pulls transit out of its specialist silo and treats it in layman's terms, as an embodiment of shared values and a partial answer to the vital question 'what kind of city do you want?' Human Transit
is an engrossing narrative that explains the real choices that informed citizens need to make."
"Anyone who has ridden transit on a regular basis will appreciate the points Jarrett makes. Especially his matrix showing the seven demands of useful transit service. Transit designers must take these demands into consideration if they hope to compete for riders." Ken Greenberg - author of Walking Home: the Life and Lessons of a City Builder
"Human Transit is a spirited guide - prescriptive but with a righteous dash of polemic- to what we get wrong about transit...[It is] full of delectably geeky details." Matt Johnson - Greater Greater Washington
"It's difficult to categorize Jarrett Walker's excellent new book, Human Transit
. It's not quite for a popular audience, though it's written with engaging ease. It's not for academics, though it's as thorough as most published research and far more approachable. It's not strictly for a policy audience, though it's fresh grist for any transit wonk's mill. Its closest literary cousin may be a good language book, for it feels capable of teaching anyone, beginner or beyond, to speak Transit more fluently."
is a choice addition for any social issues or urban development collection."
"Walker leads the reader through these intricate considerations with dexterity and thoroughness."
"Walker...has produced a well-written, totally nonpolemical, very readable book describing the many tradeoffs to be considered in meeting local goals for providing transit service."
"Walker takes complicated and often technical subjects and presents them to the reader in layman's terms."
"Human Transit... presents itself as a sort of Public Transportation for Dummies, explaining in abstract, but remarkably clear, terms the logic that governs public transit systems and the choices—some technical, some ethical—that transit planners and operators make."
"Once in a while, a book comes along that summarizes most of whats important about a particular subject, and it does so in a way thats lucid and effortless. One such book is Jarrett Walkers Human Transit
. A couple of hours spent with this slim volume will give anyone the basics on the theory and practice of public transportation planning."
California Planning and Development Report
"Once in a while, a book comes along that summarizes most of what's important about a particular subject, and it does so in a way that's lucid and effortless. One such book is Jarrett Walker's Human Transit…This is an easy read. You can go through the whole book in a few hours. That makes its lessons more likely to be absorbed. Human Transit will serve you well as a source you can turn to for reference in the future. It will also make you a better new urbanist."
is well organized with short chapters and clear diagrams to illustrate some of the more complex concepts ... Walker does a good job of avoiding transportation planning jargon and makes careful choices about terminology... His writing style makes it easy to understand types of running ways, the reasons agencies are concerned about farebox returns, and the benefits of new technologies such as Smartcards."
About the Author
Jarrett Walker has been designing public transit systems for over 20 years. He is an independent consultant in North America and Principal Consultant with MRCagney in Australia. He writes the popular transit blog HumanTransit.org.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. What Transit Is and Does
Chapter 2. What Makes Transit Useful? Seven Demands and How Transit Serves Them
Chapter 3. Five Paths to Confusion
Chapter 4. Lines, Loops, and Longing
Chapter 5. Touching the City: Stops and Stations
Chapter 6. Peak or All Day?
Chapter 7. Frequency Is Freedom
Chapter 8. The Obstacle Course: Speed, Delay, and Reliability
Chapter 9. Density Distractions
Chapter 10. Ridership or Coverage? The Challenge of Service Allocation
Chapter 11. Can Fares Be Fair?
Chapter 12. Connections or Complexity?
Chapter 13. From Connections to Networks to Places
Chapter 14. Be on the Way! Transit Implications of Location Choice
Chapter 15. On the Boulevard
Chapter 16. Take the Long View
Epilogue: Geometry, Choices, Freedom