Jarrett Walker is a public transportation expert and author of the 2011 book Human Transit, which seeks to dispel many of the myths and fallacies misleading debate and investment in public transport across the world.
Written before ride-sharing apps became the thing they are today, Walker’s core thesis — that urban geometry must be respected at all stages of public transportation development — still holds true. Worryingly, it’s also the key reality still ignored by those seeking to disrupt the world’s transport systems (supposedly for the better) today.
Walker blogs at HumanTransit.org, where he continues the campaign to inform the world about the physical constraints of urban geometry that must be respected if we are to build better systems that don’t just service the urban elite. He also tweets at @humantransit, where he sometimes gets called an idiot by Elon Musk.
Earlier this month FT Alphaville spoke with Walker about what people misunderstand about how public transport works. A technology failure prevented it being a podcast, so here is a (slightly) truncated transcript of that long conversation.