Mission and Devolution of Transit

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:

  1. 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)?
  2. 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
    • When…

Whatever your own perspective it’s an intelligent and stimulating listen…

1 Comment

One Response to Mission and Devolution of Transit

  1. Ron Swaren
    October 19, 2014 at 6:50 pm Link

    What makes a particular mode more affordable? If it’s any ‘consolation’ if a rider on a bus can efficiently use their time, what difference does it make? It’s not quite like the old days when you were stuck with staring out the window.. But in the interest of promoting the public welfare, while encouraging transit use, this might be something to remind riders of.

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