May 6, 2014

Lessons from Gabe: Sticks enclosed in carrots

Gabe Klein is now  an Urban Land Institute visiting fellow, and was head of the Chicago and Washington, D.C., transportation departments.  In this series from Atlantic Cities on “The Future of Transportation,” Klein describes how “Carrots and Sticks Both Improve City’s Transportation Network.”

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… there are a few key lessons to take to heart.

  • The first is that improving transport systems comes down to “change-management”—meaning the way you make the change is as important as the change itself if you want it to have permanence.
  • Another is that in changing the way people move, transportation sticks and carrots should ideally work in harmony, and can often complement each other.
  • Yet another is that services that add value to the city and the customer experience are a great way to bridge the carrot/stick divide, especially compared to just “raising prices,” and can also result in much higher revenues.
  • Last, encouraging and facilitating public participation in major transportation decisions via pilot projects is a great way to engage the community and get buy-in for a plan.

This isn’t a formula for a perfect transportation system, but it’s certainly a recipe for a more perfect one than exists today.

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Or, if you’re visually inclined: “Chicago’s Ambitious Progress in Transit and Placemaking

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