Human Transit: How Clearer Thinking about Public Transit Can Enrich our Communities and Our Lives by Jarrett Walker (Island Press, 2011)
Most books about public transportation immediately become mired in jargon and tedious math. This book is refreshingly different. Walker explains the why and hows of public transportation in a simple and clear way that anyone can understand. He believes that we all should be able to weigh in on how best to serve our communities with public transit, whether that involves buses, trolleys, or rail systems. Walker takes apart the intimidating complexity of transportation systems by focusing on only one aspect in each chapter: routes, connections, fares, frequency, density, and so on. By the end we can see clearly how the pieces fit together, what tradeoffs are unavoidable, and where some of our cities went wrong.