Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Transit director argues, directors should ride public transit

Houston Metro bus parked next to a street curb
Houston Metro by Sean Davis on Flickr
Licensed for use under Creative Commons
“If you’re going to be making decisions about transit, you really need to know what it’s actually like. Not what it’s like in theory, but what it’s actually like.” That’s according to Christof Spieler, as quoted by Eric Jaffe for CityLab/CityFixer.

Spieler sits on the board of directors, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Houston, Texas. He commutes today by light rail and formerly rode Metro’s old No. 9 Gulfton. But Jaffe says Spieler is a rarity. Too often, the people in charge of transit systems don’t actually ride on them.

According to Jaffe, Spieler is “Exhibit A for why the people planning America’s transit systems ... should be riders themselves.” Spieler couldn’t have played an instrumental role in developing a system redesign without his experience as a rider.

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