Transit guru Jarrett Walker talks about how predictions of the future are often distracting and loaded when it comes to planning transportation networks. Instead, he says that geometry can show how transportation networks will perform now and in the future since geometry is a fixed variable. Walker also makes other points in his discussion, such as developing transit networks that focus on the liberty of riders to move about an area and that land use planners should be thoughtful in locating dense nodes and urban villages so that transit can effectively serve them.


  1. Oh I love the focus on geometry and biology that is so well said, but I do disagree on his animosity to ridership prediction.

    I think the argument he’s actually making is that ridership is not about the the transit network design, but also about many other things – lang use, pricing, frequency, all that — and that cities need a good ridership model that shows them impacts of ALL OF THEIR decisions on transit ridership. We’re now living in a world where super complex models like that can exist and can return answers with frightening accuracy and speed. However, this models simply has to be set up so that every other decision taken by the city will show its impact on ridership … spending billions on new ROW for a subway and then cutting off stops by putting a fence around them will impact ridership — that is not the transit’s fault … and the decision to fence off all stops, lock the gates and throw away the key, should be scrutinized based on its impact on ridership.

    Anyways .. I as an urbanist and a data scientist, I am super intrigued by this.

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