This short but well-done book is full of interesting ideas about how to improve buses- some that I've heard of before (such as spending more transit agency resources on high-frequency routes) and others that are new to me (such as giving transit agencies authority over where to place bus shelters, so that location decisions can be made rapidly).
I especially liked the chapter criticizing commentators who use new technology as a reason to oppose bus service. For example, some argue that autonomous cars will make buses obsolete. But the author assembles a variety of quotes from industry insiders showing that autonomous vehicles will not dominate city streets for decades (if ever). Similarly, "microtransit" (i.e. dial-a-ride service, but with smartphones) will never be able to carry as many riders as most city buses, for the simple reason that it takes more time to serve scattered service requests over a wide area than to go up and down a busy street.
One weakness of this book is that sometimes it isn't as sensitive as I would like to trade-offs. For example, there is a long chapter on "equity" (i.e. privileging the underprivileged), but also proposes that bus stops be less frequent in other to make buses run faster. It seems to me, however, that the two goals are in conflict, because elderly/disabled passengers might find it harder to reach bus stops that are every five or ten blocks apart instead of every two or three blocks apart. Generally, the "equity" chapter is the weakest part of the book, because it valorizes egalitarian policies without suggesting where other policies should take priority.
- Paperback: 184 pages
- Publisher: Island Press; 1 edition (15 November 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1642830143
- ISBN-13: 978-1642830149
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.8 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 249 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)