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“Gets right to the point: put [transit] where the people are...The author combines detailed knowledge and a refreshing frankness...Keep this book within easy reach.”
In some US and Canadian cities, transit has quietly been expanding and improving over the last few years, despite funding and ridership challenges. How do we assess the advances and failures of our current systems to move forward strategically and wisely?
The first edition of Trains, Buses, People was dubbed “a transit wonk’s bible” and guided “a smarter conversation about urban transit” in the US. This second edition is fully updated and expanded to include eight Canadian cities and two new US cities (Indianapolis and San Juan, Puerto Rico).
In Trains, Buses, People, Second Edition: An Opinionated Atlas of US and Canadian Transit, transit expert and “transportation hero” Christof Spieler provides a new section on inclusivity to help agencies understand how to welcome riders regardless of race, gender, income, or disability. Select cities include new maps overlaying transit and poverty data, and systems that have started construction since the first edition in 2018 have been added. Other new sections address network typologies, guideway types, station types, and fares.
Spieler has spent over a decade advocating for transit as a writer, community leader, urban planner, transit board member, and enthusiast. He strongly believes that just about anyone—regardless of training or experience—can identify what makes good transit with the right information. In the fun, accessible, and visually appealing Trains, Buses, People, Second Edition: An Opinionated Atlas of US and Canadian Transit, Spieler shows how cities can build successful transit. He profiles the 49 metropolitan areas in the US and eight metropolitan areas in Canada that have rail transit or BRT, using data, photos, and maps for easy comparison. Spieler ranks the best and worst systems and he offers analysis of how geography, politics, and history complicate transit planning. He shows how the unique circumstances of every city have resulted in very different transit systems.
Trains, Buses, People, Second Edition is intended for non-experts—it will help any citizen, professional, or policymaker with a vested interest evaluate a transit proposal and understand what makes transit effective. It shows that it is possible, with the right tools, to build good transit.
About the Author
Christof Spieler, PE, AICP, LEED AP, is a Vice President and Director of Planning at Huitt-Zollars and a Lecturer in Architecture and Engineering at Rice University. He was a member of the board of directors of Houston METRO from 2010 to 2018.
"For all of their hardcore infrastructure, urban transit networks are essentially human creations, and understanding what makes them successful is essential for building successful cities. Supported by urban histories and incisively presented data, Christof Spieler sets the rules of engagement for effective transit and offers a roadmap for achieving it."
— Janette Sadik-Khan, Principal, Bloomberg Associates; former NYC Transportation Commissioner
"Christof Spieler was the driving force behind Houston's transit transformation, but he's also one of America's great transit travelers, a careful observer of history, technology, geometry, and politics. This book is an atlas of beautiful detail about 47 U.S. cities, but it's also a call to action, demanding clearer and more effective transit planning and advocacy."
— Jarrett Walker, President and Principal Consultant, Jarrett Walker + Associates, author of "Human Transit"
"This book is comprehensive enough to be a resource for transit professionals, but delivered in readable, straightforward language; an objective look at the state of transit by a passionate advocate."
— Annise Parker, former Mayor of Houston