Better Buses, Better Cities: How to Plan, Run, and Win the Fight for Effective Transit

By: Steven Higashide

Meeting Date: September 6, 2023 6:30 PM

This is a book about how cities could build ridership for their public transit systems if they concentrated more on improving bus services than rail extensions. It is also a book about the role that advocacy could play in reforming public institutions—if it were done right.

The “big ideas” for Urban Atlanta:

  • There is an opportunity for expanding transit ridership in Urban Atlanta, especially in the areas growing in density. What we may need is a pilot project or two to show how buses can fill this need.
  • In these pilots, service must follow the four principles in this book: going where people want to go, offering frequent service, making the ride fast and reliable, and making the walk to bus stops and the wait for buses easy and comfortable.
  • The last of these principles, about the walk to and wait at bus stops, will require new partnerships with local governments and community improvement districts.
  • None of these things will work if attitudes about buses as second-class transit do not change. We need advocates to work with public officials on changing these beliefs.
  • Few improvements will happen without better financial support. This must involve the state legislature in finding new and better ways of investing in transit.