The year of Covid-19 has been stressful all of us, but we’ve stayed busy, mostly completing bus network redesign plans and starting new ones. We’ve been especially focused on helping agencies deal with the sudden uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and to make plans that show a path to a better network on the other side. Meanwhile, Jarrett Walker’s writing, in Bloomberg Citylab and other venues, has focused on sustaining the case for fixed route service both during the crisis and beyond it.
We’re proud of our leading role in bus network redesign. This year we wrapped up redesign studies for the main transit agencies in Kansas City, Cleveland, and Salt Lake City, and are now in the midst of similar projects in Dallas, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Madison, Norfolk, Columbia, and Suffolk County on New York’s Long Island. (All these projects are for the main transit agency, except for Norfolk where the client is the city.) We continue to be proud of our work in smaller communities, including current projects in Kingsport, Tennessee and St Lucie County, Florida.
Here are a few of our most distinctive projects:
The National Transport Authority of Ireland (NTA) hired us back in 2016 to lead a complete redesign of the bus network across Ireland’s capital. Our work finished in 2019 and NTA is now moving toward implementation. The project reorganizes most of the city’s radial services into super-frequent “spines”, redistributes service to create frequent “orbital” (cross-town) routes, increases frequency in outer areas by ending routes at suburban centers, and defines a high-frequency service brand. The project is part of the larger BusConnects effort, which includes parallel work addressing bus infrastructure. More here.
Chicago Transit Authority has hired us to do a thorough review of the fixed route bus network. This is effectively the first half of a typical bus network redesign study, ending with a range of recommendations about what actual redesign work should address. More here.
The Better Buses project in Miami is unusual in that the client was a well respected advocacy group Transit Alliance, which raised much of the funding for the work and took the lead in presenting and consensus-building locally, with Miami-Dade Transit as active partners. Our network design study took the community through thinking about alternatives, and then developed a draft network plan.
The pandemic arrived at this point, creating uncertainty about the financial future. Working with Transit Alliance and Miami Dade transit, we developed a final recommended plan, assuming pre-pandemic resources, but we also prepared a Resilience Plan, layout out a set of priorities for how service cuts would be made if they turned out to be necessary. You can learn more about the project at Transit Alliance’s website here. Our reports can be downloaded here.
Our Russian adventure continues, at least over Zoom. Following up on our 2015 redesign work in central Moscow, the Moscow Department of Transport has engaged us to advise them on a complete redesign of Moscow’s bus services to be rolled out over the next year. In extensive video workshops, we are both training and advising city staff as they draft the redesign, and are also providing guidance on data analysis and marketing.
Bus network design isn’t all we do, and this is a year of branching out. We are doing more long-range planning, including the Tucson Long Range Transit Plan this year. We’re helping universities and private companies think about transit and working on corridor-level bus-priority studies. Some of these projects include:
Princeton University Mobility Plan
We’re currently working with Princeton University analyze their campus’ mobility needs, and think through how transit, walking, and bikeshare can play complementary roles in helping people get to and around campus.
Portland Rose Lane Project
In our own hometown, we’re working with the Portland Bureau of Transportation on the Rose Lanes Project- the first citywide effort to study potential transit speed and reliability improvements in the city. The initial concepts for a network of transit priority lanes throughout the city were presented in December 2019 and using our analysis, city staff are currently refining the design of these transit priority measures and will bring this to project to city council early this year. See more on PBOT’s project website here.