Blog

December 17, 2019

Prioritizing the Rider Experience: David Zipper Explains the Highest-Impact Transit Improvements

by Matt Fleck

There are many ways to skin a cat, and there are even more ways to improve public transit — so many, in fact, it’s sometimes hard to focus on the efforts with the biggest impact. That’s why we caught up with David Zipper, transportation policy leader and visiting fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, to hear the best way to prioritize transit improvements.

“Frequency and reliability are really the gold standard if we want to attract more people onto public transportation in the future,” Zipper says. “I think sometimes transit boards get seduced into thinking millennials want wifi or USB ports. But millennials are just like everybody else. What people want is frequency and reliability above all else.”

“My advice to transit agencies is to always consider the user experience,” he continues. “Having newly painted buses doesn’t matter if they are going to be stuck behind cars and ride hail on the street.”

Hear Zipper’s thoughts on funding, autonomous vehicles, and the best ways to improve transit reliability in the full video here:


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