Multcolib Homework Center Picks: Public Transportation & Transit Justice

Annotation:This article by Dr. Robert D. Bullard has powerful arguments and statistics about inequity in transit. But since the article is from 2003, it'd be a good idea to check for more recent statistics if you want to use the information in an essay. Learn about Dr. Bullard's other articles and books at his website,

Annotation:Lisa Loving interviews Nicole Johnson, Youth Organizer, and Jared Franz, Policy Associate from OPAL: Environmental Justice Oregon about transit justice issues in Multnomah County. A very in-depth interview, including input from some callers to the Voices From the Edge program.

Annotation:From the article, written by OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon youth organizer Nicole Johnson and Multnomah Youth Commission co-chair Jose Lopez Delgado: "Youth Pass empowers young citizens to fully engage in their community. More than just to-and-from school, it ensures that young people have access to jobs, extracurricular activities and other civic commitments, which stimulates our regional economy."

Annotation:Article about one day -- March 25, 2014 -- at the community court for people caught traveling without tickets on public transit.

Annotation:This 2011 article about the Multnomah Youth Commission's advocacy for the YouthPass program has good background on the importance of the program for youth & families.

Annotation:"Between 2013 and 2015, TriMet is asking riders, residents, neighborhood groups, governments, schools and businesses for their feedback to create a long-term vision for transit service. Together, we will identify and prioritize opportunities to improve bus service as well as pedestrian and bike access to transit."

Annotation:Reporter Aaron Mesh rode 242 miles on TriMet over 3 days in 2012. He writes about the people he met and TriMet's funding issues. The article has a lot of comments, many of which are critical of Mesh's point of view.

My Kind of Transit
My Kind of Transit Rethinking Public Transportation in America By Nordahl, Darrin Book - 2008 388.40973 N828m 2008 Available in some locations

Annotation:"Nordahl demonstrates that when using public transit is an enjoyable experience, tourists and commuters alike willingly hand in their keys. The trick is creating a system that isn't simply a poor imitation of the automobile, but offers its own pleasures and comforts. While a railway or bus will never achieve the quiet solitude of a personal car, it can provide, much like a well-designed public park, an inviting, communal space."

Transport for Suburbia
Transport for Suburbia Beyond the Automobile Age By Mees, Paul Book - 2010 388.4091733 M4953t 2010 Available in some locations

Annotation:A reviewer, Professor John Whitelegg, says that the book "shows exactly what is wrong with public transport systems around the world and what is needed to put them right."

The New Transit Town
The New Transit Town Best Practices in Transit-oriented Development Book - 2004 388.4 N532 2004 Available in some locations

Annotation:"Transit-oriented development (TOD) seeks to maximize access to mass transit and nonmotorized transportation with centrally located rail or bus stations surrounded by relatively high-density commercial and residential development." The book's description calls it "It is a vital new source of information for anyone interested in urban and regional planning and development, including planners, developers, community groups, transit agency staff, and finance professionals."

Pedestrian- & Transit-oriented Design
Pedestrian- & Transit-oriented Design By Ewing, Reid H. Book - 2013 711.74 E956p 2013 Available in some locations

Annotation:"Explaining how to design spaces for pedestrians while also accommodating transit needs, this book is an excellent reference for students, public sector planners and officials, and private sector designers and developers seeking to make places more pedestrian- and transit-friendly."

Annotation:Brief overview of important dates and events in Portland public transportation history.

Megacity Mobility Culture
Megacity Mobility Culture How Cities Move on in A Diverse World eBook - 2013 Click here for full text »

Annotation:"Experts from megacities around the world each take the reader on a journey to their own city and its mobility culture, giving a deeper insight into the unique evolutionary paths of mobility that these places have taken, and what lies before them." If you can take the time to make sense of the very academic writing style, this book has tons of great information and useful statistics.


Who has an easy time getting where they need to go, and who finds it more difficult? How have decisions about transit access played out in Portland and Multnomah County and how can we affect them in the future? These books and articles provide an introduction of a complex topic.