Friday Transportation Seminar: Winning the Fight for Better Bus Service

FTS 2020 - Dec 4.png
Friday, December 4, 2020, 11:30am to 12:30pm PST
Steven Higashide, Author, Better Buses Better Cities
PDH: 1 | AICP: 1

We are committed to making decisions that promote the success and well-being of our campus community. Like an increasing number of universities nationwide, Portland State is taking steps to respond to the global pandemic. Until further notice, all live events hosted by TREC will be online only.

Friday Transportation Seminars at Portland State University have been a tradition since 2000. You can join us online at 11:30 AM.


Watch the video

View the presentation slides

TREC Twitter thread


The "right to the city" depends on the right to access the city, and U.S. regions are marked by profoundly unequal access. One of the clearest manifestations of this is the state of U.S. bus transit. Bus service is simple to improve and has vast potential to better people's lives, but has been constrained by the racist planning and politics that shape every American city.

How can we fulfill the promise of better buses and create abundant transit networks that expand access to opportunity? In this seminar, Higashide unpacks the elements of effective bus service – and cites examples from across the United States to show how elected leaders, heroic bureaucrats, and civic advocates can overcome the political challenges to achieving them.


  • The role improved bus service can play in furthering access to opportunity
  • How changes in the structure of public agencies and public process can reduce the marginalization of disadvantaged groups
  • The importance of community organizing and alliances between the public and civic sectors in winning more equitable transit


Steven Higashide, Author, Better Buses, Better Cities

Steven Higashide is Director of Research for TransitCenter, a New-York-based foundation that works to make cities more sustainable and just through better public transit. He has conducted and managed research about who rides transit and why; how tax policy influences transportation; and transit’s role in a Green New Deal. Steven previously worked as a transportation advocate in the New York area, where he worked on winning campaigns to pass legislation protecting pedestrians and cyclists, and defeat Congressional attempts to defund public transportation. His first book (named one of Planetizen's 10 best urban planning books for 2019) is Better Buses, Better Cities: How to Plan, Run, and Win the Fight for Effective Transit; and his writing has appeared in The New Republic, The Atlantic, and the Los Angeles Times. Steven holds a Masters in Urban Planning from NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.


This 60-minute seminar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.


Photo by Laser1987/iStock

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The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University is home to the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), and other transportation programs. TREC produces research and tools for transportation decision makers, develops K-12 curriculum to expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engages students and professionals through education.