When Jarrett Walker announced this course on his blog, I knew I had to take it. I make maps in my head, and geeking out about transit with similar-minded people, headed by someone whose blog I read religiously, is an opportunity that cannot be passed up, even if the almost $400 cost was well beyond my current means. And with the two days now completed, I feel it’s money well spent.
The course had four specific activities, which Jarrett called “games”. Using a generic city that he called “Newport”, replete with many of the amenities of a mid-sized North American city (although its construction does have a greater-Vancouver feel to it), 5 groups of 5-6, each facilitated by a planner from TransLink, set about designing a transit network for Newport, with certain parameters. In order, we worked with a lean-times allocation of 30 buses; a good-times allocation of 90 buses; a financial windfall that allowed implementation of rapid transit; and building on that rapid-transit base to develop a robust network (also within a 90-bus allocation equivalent).