May 3rd, 2012 by Island Press
As part of the new Island Press E‐ssentials program featuring short electronic‐only publications on timely environmental issues, transit and food writer Darrin Nordahl asks the question: What if getting to work, going to the grocery store, and riding the bus around town could be fun?
With Making Transit Fun!, he gives a taste of what that world would look like.
In this innovative new e‐book, Nordahl, author of My Kind of Transit and Public Produce, argues that buses, streetcars, monorails, cycling, and walking can be just as inviting, exciting, and even as seductive as the car, if designed with the passenger or walker in mind.
In Making Transit Fun! Nordahl contends that life is as much about the journey as it is about the destination, and a little fun along the way makes a big difference.
In this short e‐book, he combines form and function detailing why it’s not enough to make buses reliable or subways fast — they must also be appealing.
Illustrated with dozens of examples from London; Boulder, CO; Isahaya, Japan; Davenport, IA; and Los Angeles among others, this e‐book catalogues the innovative approaches cities around the world are taking to make transit fun.
From bus stops that look like fruit to innovative “porch view” streetcars to music‐filled buses with skylights, Nordahl studies every step from door to door.
And he chronicles new ways cities are seducing people to use transit like the Los Angeles Metro’s successful Opposites campaign with billboards and t‐shirts designed with simple graphics highlighting the good of transit and the bad of automobiles and parking.
It isn’t just public transportation Nordahl rethinks in this new e‐book.
Cycling and walking also need a makeover, both as a way to reach transit and as a means of transit in and of themselves.
Truly protected cycle tracks and tree‐lined sidewalks make people feel safe, while stylish gear and lively streets entice people out of their cars.
Getting where you need to go shouldn’t be a chore and transit systems can be fun as well as functional, Nordahl argues in Making Transit Fun!.
With this e‐book, he provides the ideas and inspiration for how cities and regions can get people out of their cars and onto transit and bicycles as well as sidewalks.
Darrin Nordahl is an urban designer who writes and speaks about food and public transportation.
He has degrees in landscape architecture and urban design from the University of California.
Grist’s review of Making Transit Fun!