Transit Consultant Jarrett Walker Speaks at Tucson Forum

Tucsonans were fortunate to have Jarrett Walker, an internationally known transit consultant, talk with us about transit on July 11. The event was coordinated by the Drachman Institute with a coalition of 10 local organizations.

Mr. Walker discusses transit in a way that is interesting and easy to understand. One of his most compelling concepts is the “Frequent Network” map. The Frequent Network is comprised of routes that provide transit service every 15 minutes or less throughout the day. This is transit for people in a hurry (isn’t that most of us?); essential transit for our important daily tasks, such as going to work, school, or a doctor’s appointment.  You can view his map of Tucson’s Frequent Network at his website, humantransit.org. As he notes, this network forms the backbone for future system expansion. It is important for locational choices for businesses and homes. Mr. Walker noted that grid street systems such as Tucson’s support effective transit because a network of east-west and north-south routes can be established, with multiple opportunities for transfers between them.

It seems the Frequent Network could be important in transit marketing and planning. For example, if a bus stop is clearly identifiable as a place where you could get a ride within 15 minutes, you might be more encouraged to take the ride. It is great to see these organizations coming together to sponsor some good thinking about transit in Tucson.

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