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Transit Network Design course by Jarrett Walker (@HumanTransit) comes to Australia in March…and you should go

TRANSIT has learned that internationally recognized transit planner and author Jarrett Walker, who blogs at, will be bringing his Transit Network Design course back to Australia, to Melbourne (March 27-28) and Brisbane (March 31-April 1). The cost of the course is AUD695 and it is worth every cent.

Network maps produced at the February 6-7 Transit Network Design course in New York City

The paragraph below, from the course description at provides some details.

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 Jarrett’s book Human Transit.

That’s us…and many other Malaysians…from public servants working for local government authorities to wakil rakyat and Yang ‘Berkhidmat’ (Ahli DUN & Ahli Parlimen) who bring our views to the government.

This course fills a critical gap in many people’s training. It offers a fun, hands-on way of learning what makes an effective transit network, and what those insights mean for all the related professions. Sadly, few graduate programs teach this material in a compelling interactive format.

And sadly, few people learn about the fundamentals of public transport planning and network design in an holistic and complete way.

On February 6-7, 2014 Muhammad Zulkarnain Hamzah (representing TRANSIT Malaysia) and Moaz Yusuf Ahmad (representing both TRANSIT Malaysia and the Greater Toronto Area MOVE Network) attended the Transit Network Design course in New York City. The 2-day course was an exciting, interactive and challenging event, bringing together transport planners, community advocates, engineers and business people.

The course is described in a number of articles including the notable one below, which also talks about Jarrett Walker’s approach to understand the human side of public transport, based on human values such as freedom and access.

The battle for mass transit’s soul. (Grabar, Henry. February 15, 2014)

“Over the past three years, Walker has taught his Interactive Course in Transit Network Design more than a dozen times, in four countries, and its hundreds of graduates are sprinkled across city governments, transit agencies and nonprofits in the U.S. and beyond.”

And most importantly, these graduates are able to see public transport holistically, understanding it as a business, a social service, and an economic tool that promotes important values.

“I don’t like to talk about right answers,”
“There are optimal answers for different sets of values.”
Walker is a transit purist. His mantra, “frequency is freedom,” sums up a philosophy that prizes efficiency and utility as a system’s best qualities. “Much of the public discussion of transit is about externalities (emissions, economic outcomes, fun, ‘look and feel,’ and so on) while strikingly little is about helping people to get where they’re going, or to access more of the city easily,”

And we at TRANSIT can hardly disagree. Living as we do in Malaysia with a constant lack of useful information about public transport, combined with the weak service and lack of availability, we ache for a transit system that offers the public reasonable access … abundant access being beyond our greatest dreams.

The concept of Abundant Access is illustrated below at a lecture by Jarrett Walker in Toronto in January 2014:

The principles of Abundant Access as illustrated by Jarrett Walker


We strongly recommend Jarrett Walker’s Transit Network Design course to industry professionals, wakil rakyat and community advocates. As we do not know when Malaysians will be able to attend the Transit Network Design course in Malaysia (or Singapore, or Thailand for that matter) we can only suggest that those who are interested take this opportunity to attend the courses in Australia while they are available. To everyone who is interested but not able to attend we highly recommend Jarrett Walker’s book, Human Transit:
as well as Jarrett’s blog Jarrett Walker uses the Twitter handle @humantransit

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