Welcome

Welcome. I’m Jarrett Walker, the author of the book Human Transit.  My team and I are ready to help you think about public transportation in your community.

For over 20 years, I’ve been helping governments improve and explain their public transit services, including

  • Leading the design or redesign of transit networks.
  • Helping choose the right transit tools for a situation.
  • Analyzing transit data and integrating it with local goals.
  • Leading innovative public outreach processes that engage and empower the public.
  • Helping explain transit principles and the real choices they imply for communities and leaders (the core task of my book).
  • Integrating transit into urban planning and development.
  • Writing and speaking on the topic.
  • Teaching transit planning and policy, in both lecture and interactive courses.

Since 2011, our firm has offered these services with a growing staff of excellent planners, project managers and analysts. Our clients include cities and transit agencies all over North America, as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

The challenge of public transit today is not just having good ideas but being able to explain them. At JWA, we integrate the task of planning with the tasks of explanation and public engagement. Our reports are clear, friendly, and readable, with vivid pictures of what matters, and minimal jargon. We take pride in running interesting and engaging public and stakeholder workshops, where participants are learning and expressing ideas in the same moment.

While we do solid technical analysis, we’re not engineers. We focus instead on plans that help local leaders identify their priorities and build the confidence to act on them. We know how to relate technical concepts to big-picture ideas about what communities want, and what they fear. We connect transit to the big ideas of urbanism and can engage with a range of city planning and urban design perspectives. We can also help navigate the politics of a plan, including seeing the opportunities for win-wins, and proposing presentation styles that encourage constructive thinking by stakeholders and the public.

To that end, too, we are unusual in our commitment to separating expertise – which we can provide – from value judgments – which should come from a community and its leaders. We don’t do projects that end with the client saying “the consultant recommended this …” Our projects end with them saying “We understand our transit options, and how they relate to things we care about. If there’s a plan, we understand why it says what it does.”

Please browse our experience either by place, or by topic using the links on the blue bar above.