FROM THE JACKET
In My Kind of Transit, Darrin Nordahl argues that like life itself, transportation isn't only about the destination, but the journey. Public transit reduces traffic and pollution, yet few of us are willing to get out of our cars and onto subways and buses. But Nordahl demonstrates that when using public transit is an enjoyable experience, tourists and commuters alike willingly hand in their keys.
The trick is creating a system that isn't simply a poor imitation of the automobile, but offers its own pleasures and comforts. While a railway or bus will never achieve the quiet solitude of a personal car, it can provide, much like a well-designed public park, an inviting, communal space.
My Kind of Transit is an animated tour of successful transportation systems, offering smart, commonsense analysis of what makes transit fun. Nordahl draws on examples like the iconic street cars of New Orleans and the picturesque cable cars in San Francisco, illustrating that the best transit systems are uniquely tailored to their individual cities. He also describes universal principles of good transit design.
Nordahl's humanistic treatment will help planners, designers, transportation professionals, and policymakers create transit systems the public actually wants to ride. And it will introduce all readers to delightful ways of getting from point A to point B.
"A more important book than its title would suggest, My Kind of Transit is the first volume I have come across that comprehensively considers transit in terms of those factors that actually determine whether or not people will choose to ride it. Nordahl's humane and even humanist arguments recognize and celebrate how transit, if properly designed, can be elevated in the public esteem from loser cruiser to mode of choice. With a nod to E.F. Schumacher, I think I will call it Transit as if People Mattered. Please, if your work deals in any way with planning or transportation, do us all a favor and read this book."
-Jeff Speck, co-author of Suburban Nation, The Smart Growth Manual, and former Director of Design, National Endowment for the Arts
"An important book. Transit, says Darrin Nordahl, is not medicine or punishment but open space in motion - something to cherish. Full of information, imagination, and common sense, My Kind of Transit is the way to go."
-Tony Hiss, author of The Experience of Place
"This unique work will inspire scholars and students to research further on this essential and largely untreated topic. It will also pop up on the shelves of those urbanists who ponder wistfully on the loss of great city culture and vital urban social life and imagine the emergence of a more beautiful, more convivial, and livable urban future."
-Susan Zielinski, Urban Planner and Managing Director of Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation, University of Michigan