Transit interfaces: where is the pleasure?

Transit interfaces: where is the pleasure?

Crossrail will be an important game-changer for London’s transit flows and a key asset for many decades to come, establishing direct connections for number of important links and providing services through 10 urban stations. Images of these stations have been published and give the feeling they have been designed as efficient “hydraulic” elements, draining the flows.

Functionality and efficiency are obviously central aspects and in the actual situation, offer and infrastructure struggle to catch up with the demand, or plainly fail providing it a right answer. So definitely, solving this problem is a sine qua non condition for avoiding a collapse, let alone for accommodating future demand or shifting flows from car to transit.

This being said, however: shouldn’t very long-term projects like Crossrail be also visionary in terms of pleasure, associated to the use of transit? Yes, evoking this aspect does represent an enormous qualitative leap in comparison with the actual situation, so much that it seems almost incongruous to bring it. But if transit is to be chosen by those who do have the choice of taking their comfortable car, for instance, then this notion should definitely be considered. Also, the cities need to position on how they accommodate those who don’t own a car, for financial, environmental or any other reason – are they just to be “evacuated” as particles of the flows, or is their well-being an important aspect of the provided service? All this should impact the scope of the “appropriate level of comfort”*.


* see for instance ECMT’s document Improving Access to Public Transport and International Transport Forum’s Measuring and Valuing Convenience and Service Quality.

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