Leading with Transit

Download PDF Document (3.2MB)
November 08, 2018
By: Katya Spear, Mariah Young-Jones, Satya Rhodes-Conway, and Mary Ebeling

How can city leadership on transit create more equitable, sustainable, and economically vibrant cities?


Transit service provides a critical link for people in cities, offering access to key destinations that provide jobs, education, entertainment, and connection to family and friends. But around the country, transit ridership is falling. In response to this and to competition from mobility providers like Uber and Lyft, many cities are just maintaining or reducing transit investments and commitments.


Rather than throw up their hands in the face of falling ridership and revenue streams, cities need to invest in this critical resource. Doing so can provide a wealth of co-benefits that innovative cities care deeply about: from the environmental benefits of reducing congestion and car travel, to the economic benefits of connecting people and jobs, to crucial improvements in equity and disparities that come with providing better access to historically disadvantaged people and neighborhoods.


Our new brief, Leading on Transit, lays out these critical connections and describes how cities, in partnership with their transit agencies, public, and other agencies and institutions, can work to enhance transit. It describes how cities around the country are leading on transit and what local governments need to know to enhance their transit networks.