Next month, noted transit planning consultant Jarrett Walker is bringing his firm’s Transit Network Design course to Seattle:

Transit Network Design: an Interactive Short Course is designed to give anyone a grasp of how network design works, so that they can form more confident and resilient opinions about transit proposals.

The course is ideal for people who interact with transit planning in their work but don’t necessarily do it themselves — including land use planners, urban designers, developers, traffic engineers, sustainability advocates, transit employees of all kinds, and people who work on transportation or urban policy generally. Advocates who want to be more realistic and effective will also find the course valuable, especially as a companion to my book Human Transit.

Jarrett’s firm consulted on Seattle’s previous Transit Master Plan, which first outlined the goal of a citywide frequent-service Urban Village Transit Network; on Spokane’s 1998 transit network redesign, which forms the basis of that city’s booming contemporary network; on Bellevue’s promising Transit Master Plan; and will work with King County Metro on its incipient long range planning process. If you regularly ride transit in Washington, you’ve almost certainly benefited, directly or indirectly, from the clarity of thought Jarrett’s work has injected into contemporary service planning.

Most recently, Jarrett’s contributions in Houston made national news, where he helped that city radically re-imagine its failing, vestigial transit network. The new network reflects both the land use and travel demand patterns of contemporary Houston, a very multipolar city, along with a modern understanding of how to design transit networks that can compete with driving — offering services that are frequent, direct, and reliable. If you want to go from reading about this stuff to really understanding it, taking this class is the fastest way.

The two-day class will be offered April 16th & 17th. I’ve taken it myself, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

9 Replies to “Jarrett Walker’s Network Design Class Comes to Seattle”

  1. Wonderful! Can we have a debate between Jarrett and Robert? I suppose it would have to become an annual tradition — a tradition never allowed to end.

      1. Robert’s arguments kind of work when you find yourself with a surplus of service hours and are willing to trim routes when it becomes clear nobody is using them.

        Unfortunately even with prop 1 we aren’t in a situation where we can simply overlay the new network on top of the old one and give things a few years to shake out.

        No real point to a debate though. Jarrett’s views should be clearly the correct ones to anyone who has seriously studied transit.

      2. The one time I attended a Jarrett Walker talk in Portland, he tried to argue that transit couplets are not as effective as 2-way transit on single streets. How can he ignore Portland’s success with numerous transit couplets? Probably because he’s like all other urban planning showoffs who confidently present their opinions as unquestionable. With one of the least effective transit systems in the country, Seattle should know better than to trust professional planners.


      3. Wells,

        are you arguing Portland’s transit success is in part because of the numerous couplets and/or Portland does them effectively? Also, what are you basing your evaluations of successful and ineffectual transit systems? Per capita usage(Seattle area: 63.8 rides/year vs Portland area: 58.4 rides/year)? Regional transit mode share (Seattle area: 4.9% vs Portland area: 4.2%)? Commute to CBD transit mode share (Seattle area: 43% vs Portland area: 45%)?

    1. Can he convince people that hate those damn kids who are always on their lawn? ‘Cause that would be a game-changer….


  2. Highly recommended, based on reading Jarrett’s stuff and being familiar with some of the work he’s done locally. I dearly wish I could go but I just can’t take two more full days away from the office at the moment.

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  4. Oh, and there’s one in Portland in October! Excellent. I’d love to go to the Seattle one, but I leaned about it a tad too late to throw $450 at right now.

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