Why Google Is So Interested In Kenya's Transit System

The thousands of graphics-covered minibuses called matatus that zip through Nairobi make up one of the largest (and liveliest) informal transportation systems in the world. This unregulated—some might say renegade—transit keeps the city moving rather efficiently, and, until recently, was an all-cash business. Until… » 7/17/14 4:07pm 7/17/14 4:07pm

While Away Your Friday By Designing Your Own Fantasy Transit System

For would-be Transportation Czars who have grander ideas for the buses and trains in your town, Transitmix helps you draw a fantasy transit system for your city that's specific down to the block. And it's got a bunch of real-world features that can help you calculate everything from ridership to operating costs. » 6/20/14 1:40pm 6/20/14 1:40pm

It Only Takes This Electric Bus 15 Seconds To Charge At Every Stop

Because battery technology still relatively sucks, electric vehicles like buses that have to run all day long usually stay tethered to a spiderweb of overhead cables. But as an alternative to that costly infrastructure, researchers at the EPFL have developed an electric bus that can recharge itself at every stop in as… » 6/16/14 11:00am 6/16/14 11:00am

Boston's New "Smart Mass Transit" Gets You To Work Faster—For A Price

It's time to go to work. But instead of walking a half-mile to the nearest bus stop and waiting in the searing morning sun, you tap in your location to an app and keep sipping your coffee at your kitchen table. The bus stops mere blocks from your house and delivers you to work in record time. » 6/11/14 5:20pm 6/11/14 5:20pm

"There's a Bomb on a Bus": Speed and L.A.'s Car Chase Addiction

Before I re-watched it anticipation of its 20th anniversary, I might have dismissed Speed as more tired commentary on L.A. traffic. In actuality, I was shocked at how honestly the film portrayed Los Angeles' transportation culture in 1994. Although it did perpetuate its fair share of transit myths: Like anyone could » 6/10/14 8:00pm 6/10/14 8:00pm

Why Don't All Metro Buses Transform into Intergalactic Robo-Fighters?

I don't know what Bondibots are (I don't speak French), I don't know what they're supposed to be doing when not fighting their way across the galaxy, playing soccer, or jamming on gigantic guitars—driving old people around maybe?—and I really don't know what the hell is going on in this video. All I do know is that… » 5/21/14 12:00am 5/21/14 12:00am

Aging Baby Boomers Could Be The Boost America's Public Transit Needs

Baby Boomers are getting older. Their eyesight isn't what it used to be, and their reaction time is slowing. Even if they've been faithful drivers all their lives, their primary means of getting around might start to shift away from the car. Which is great news for public transit in the U.S. » 4/28/14 7:00pm 4/28/14 7:00pm

How Good Data Makes Transit Feel More Efficient—Even When It's Not

I tried a little experiment the other day—and I'm not sure why I hadn't tried it before. Before I walked to the bus stop to go downtown, I checked the real-time arrivals for my stop. It turned out the bus wasn't coming for another 11 minutes, so I did the dishes first and only then left the house. The bus arrived when… » 1/29/14 11:00am 1/29/14 11:00am

Why School Buses Are Yellow

School buses are the primary mode of student transportation in North America. An estimated twenty-six million students in the United States alone are transported to school every school day via bus—over half the student population in the country. While school buses in countries outside of North America usually look… » 11/12/13 6:00am 11/12/13 6:00am

A Dozen Short Buses You Wouldn't Make Jokes About

The gleaming 40-foot behemouths that shuttle suburban American kids to school and back are useless on the crowded streets of Delhi. Throughout the developing world kids get to their daily lessons by any means possible—trike, rickshaw, even ox cart. Our friends at Oobject have assembled 12 of the coolest home brew tike… » 11/30/12 7:20pm 11/30/12 7:20pm

The World's Longest Bus Is a Traffic Nightmare Waiting To Happen

Public transit is a great way to reduce traffic and gridlock in a crowded city. But do those benefits still apply when the streets are filled with 100 foot buses like the Fraunhofer Institute's AutoTram Extra Grand? Forget tight corners; this thing might not even make it through a green light. » 8/27/12 9:19am 8/27/12 9:19am

Why Is this Classic London Double Decker Bus Doing Pushups? (Spoiler:…

When you've got millions of dollars from the International Olympic Committee to blow on preparations for the big games, in addition to beautiful venues and breathtaking stadiums, you're also going to end up with a bit of bizarre local art that's supposed to highlight and reflect the culture of the host country. » 7/23/12 7:00pm 7/23/12 7:00pm