The (re)positioning of public transportation.

February 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

Chris Whitcomb, Communications Manager at Cannon Design, recently brought my attention to the Co.Design article “How Do You Wean People Off Cars? By Rebranding Bikes and Buses.” As Whitcomb notes in his recap of the article, “How we perceive the use of these public [transportation] systems is arguably as important as how well they work.”

One idea for re-positioning public transportation is to make driving seem like a less interactive (and less fun) option. Some efforts already exist in support of this, such as the yearly Park(ing) Day celebration, colorful bike additions like Contrail, or even tools like that readily show the amenities available in walkable neighborhoods.

image of Park(ing) Day in Minneapolis from 2009 by Flickr user Sveden

image of Park(ing) Day in San Francisco in 2010 by Flickr user Steve Rhodes

Experimentation with classic forms also draws a certain amount of celebratory attention to transportation alternatives, for example the bicycle. That’s not to say that unattractive forms don’t have their benefit as well; just ask Dublin about their bike sharing program.

February 20’s daily design idea is regardless of how it’s ultimately repositioned, public transportation should be the city dweller’s focus and not his or her alternative. What efforts have you seen that are helping to make public transportation people’s preference?


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