Better Buses, Better Cities
184 pages, 6 x 9
20 photos
Release Date:10 Oct 2019

Better Buses, Better Cities

How to Plan, Run, and Win the Fight for Effective Transit

Island Press
"Better Buses, Better Cities is likely the best book ever written on improving bus service in the United States." — Randy Shaw, Beyond Chron
"The ultimate roadmap for how to make the bus great again in your city." — Spacing
"The definitive volume on how to make bus frequent, fast, reliable, welcoming, and respected..." — Streetsblog

Imagine a bus system that is fast, frequent, and reliable—what would that change about your city?

Buses can and should be the cornerstone of urban transportation. They offer affordable mobility and can connect citizens with every aspect of their lives. But in the US, they have long been an afterthought in budgeting and planning. With a compelling narrative and actionable steps, Better Buses, Better Cities inspires us to fix the bus.

Transit expert Steven Higashide shows us what a successful bus system looks like with real-world stories of reform—such as Houston redrawing its bus network overnight, Boston making room on its streets to put buses first, and Indianapolis winning better bus service on Election Day. Higashide shows how to marshal the public in support of better buses and how new technologies can keep buses on time and make complex transit systems understandable.

Higashide argues that better bus systems will create better cities for all citizens. The consequences of subpar transit service fall most heavily on vulnerable members of society. Transit systems should be planned to be inclusive and provide better service for all. These are difficult tasks that require institutional culture shifts; doing all of them requires resilient organizations and transformational leadership.

Better bus service is key to making our cities better for all citizens. Better Buses, Better Cities describes how decision-makers, philanthropists, activists, and public agency leaders can work together to make the bus a win in any city.
Better Buses, Better Cities makes a convincing for cities to prioritize improved bus service... Higashide shows transit advocates what works in other cities, enabling them to 'learn from the triumphs and pitfalls of others.' [It] is likely the best book ever written on improving bus service in the United States. Randy Shaw, Beyond Chron
Steven Higashide’s new book Better Buses, Better Cities is a superb how-to manual for urban activists and urban policy-makers. Resilience
Better Buses, Better Cities: How to Plan, Run and Win the Fight for Effective Transit is the ultimate roadmap for how to make the bus great again in your city. Part technical backgrounder, part political field manual, Steven Higashide is a seasoned transit reformer and advocate who provides cautionary tales but also the inspiration for making cities better places to live....With its many success stories, practical tips and tools, it’s a call to action for improving a city’s bus service. Spacing Vancouver
From ballot measures to bus-only lanes, the research director from the national advocacy nonprofit TransitCenter delivers timely, inspiring stories of the ways cities are putting transit first. Curbed
Steven Higashide has written the definitive volume on how to make [the] bus frequent, fast, reliable, welcoming, and respected in its role at the core of transit systems. The highly readable volume features success stories from Houston, Boston, Indianapolis, and many other cities. Streetsblog
Higashide offers an eloquent argument for better bus transit systems through a multi-pronged approach of planning, research, and advocacy that transportation planners and activists for social equity and environmental improvement can use. Choice
Better Buses, Better Cities inspires us to fix the bus system in whatever community we live and work in....Higashide persuasively argues that better bus systems will create better cities for all citizens....Exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented, [it] is a welcome and effective resource for social activists, governmental policy makers, city planners, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject. Midwest Book Review
Higashide shows how to roll out a new road order for streets by unleashing the power of effective bus networks and unleashing the full potential of cities.’  Janette Sadik-Khan, Bloomberg Associates, former NYC Transportation Commissioner
This book is a must-read for anybody who cares about cities and transit. Higashide helps us see how to get more out of buses, a maligned but crucial part of our transit systems.’  Lisa Ann Schweitzer, Professor, USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
Steven Higashide is one of America’s leading experts on public transportation and the people who use it. As director of research for the national foundation TransitCenter, Higashide has authored groundbreaking reports that have redefined how decision makers and journalists understand transit. He has taken the bus in 28 cities around the U.S. and the world.
Preface: My Own Bus Story

Introduction: We Need to Unleash the Bus
Chapter 1: What Makes People Choose the Bus?
Chapter 2: Make the Bus Frequent
Chapter 3: Make the Bus Fast and Reliable
Chapter 4: Make the Bus Walkable and Dignified
Chapter 5: Make the Bus Fair and Welcoming
Chapter 6: Gerrymandering the Bus
Chapter 7: Technology Won’t Kill the Bus—Unless We Let It
Chapter 8: Building a Transit Nation
Conclusion: Winning Mindsets and Growing Movements
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