The Power of Sustainable Public Transit Design

Considering the bigger picture of global, regional & local ecosystems as design professionals. 

Earlier this month, President Obama signed off on a 1,300 page piece of legislation that will provide $305 billion for the country’s roads, bridges and mass transit over the next 5 years. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act will be a large step to improve the longer-term  planning and stability of transportation projects.

The execution of these state and federal public transportation projects will rely heavily the effort to produce sustainable infrastructures. But the idea of sustainability comes with different connotations and preconceptions that may make us feel warm and fuzzy or be worrisome due to the unavoidable economic effects.

 
Sustainability should be an idea that crosses party, gender, racial and socioeconomic lines.
 

A recent article written by RNL’s Ken Anderson and Merlin Maley explores the idea of sustainability and it’s necessity in the planning and design of public transportation:

 
While sustainability can mean many different things to different people, the common theme is considering the future—the unknown—while at the same time caring for the present. The beauty of sustainability is that it can be understood and utilized as a unifying idea by communities, agencies or individuals in a multitude of ways, any number of which can fit their larger ideas about life and society in general. Sustainability should be an idea that crosses party, gender, racial and socioeconomic lines.So why are public transit systems such an important part of a sustainable future for communities worldwide? - Passenger Transport