The most recent episode of the Strong Towns podcast is particularly thought-provoking. It presents a panel discussion held off-site during the recent Railvolution conference. The panel includes some well-know transportation bloggers: Jeff Wood (The Overhead Wire) and Jonah Freemark (The Transport Politic).
The topics are wide-ranging and challenge some sacred cows. Two themes I found interesting:
- What’s the mission of transit:
- Providing urban mobility, primarily for low-income or minority populations?
- Moving commuters to the central city to ameliorate (or avoid) auto congestion?
- A catalyst for development?
- Some rational combination of all of the above (but we may lack a framework for rationalization)?
- The devolution of transit:
- When we couldn’t afford Subways, we turned to Light Rail
- When we couldn’t afford Light Rail, we turned to Streetcars
- When we couldn’t afford Streetcars, we turned to BRT
- When we couldn’t afford BRT, we turned to Rapid Bus
Whatever your own perspective it’s an intelligent and stimulating listen…