Christof Spieler | An Island Press Author

Christof Spieler

Christof Spieler, PE, LEED AP, is a Vice President and Director of Planning at Huitt-Zollars and a Senior Lecturer at Rice University. He was a member of the board of directors of Houston's Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) from 2010 to 2018. As the chair of METRO's Strategic Planning committee, he initiated the Transit System Reimagining process, a blank sheet re-design of the entire bus system. Since Mayor Annise Parker appointed him to the board in 2010, METRO has successfully obtained $900 million in federal funding for light rail, increased transparency, put Houston on firm financial footing, and initiated a new BRT project in a major job center. He was reappointed by Mayor Sylvester Turner in 2016. At Huitt-Zollars, he has done land use and transportation plans in a variety of settings, including a mixed-use district plan in Downtown Houston, citywide land use policy in Sugar Land, TX, a multimodal medical center access plan in El Paso, a transit-oriented development master plan in Seattle, a Livable Centers Plan in Rosenberg, a new bike plan for Houston, and transit planning in St. Paul. His recent work includes park planning for the Houston Parks Board and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership and project management of a consortium of researchers addressing flooding in Houston. Christof has written and spoken extensively on transit and urban planning. He teaches courses in Architecture and Civil Engineering at Rice University. As a member of the American Public Transit Association's Sustainability and Urban Design Working Group, he has helped draft national standards on transit and urban design. He is also a contributor to NACTO's Transit Street Design Guide and a board member at TransitCenter in New York. Christof holds a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from Rice University. He lives in Downtown Houston and relies on transit and walking for most of his daily trips.

Advocating for and Creating Effective Public Transit

Advocating for and Creating Effective Public Transit

Thursday, May 7, 2020 - 1:00pm EDT

While there’s been a sharp decline in public transit use right now, it’s proven that having greater access to transit in general is vital for the functioning of safe, equitable, and environmentally friendly cities. But what makes for effective...

While there’s been a sharp decline in public transit use right now, it’s proven that having greater access to transit in general is vital for the functioning of safe, equitable, and environmentally friendly cities. But what makes for effective transit? How do you advocate for it? And how can cities utilize the bus to create fast, frequent, and reliable service?

In this webinar you’ll hear from two transit experts: Christof Spieler, author of Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit, and Steven Higashide, author of Better Buses, Better Cities: How to Plan, Run, and Win the Fight for Effective Transit. Both will explain how we can make better use of our current transit systems in clear ways for decision-makers, philanthropists, activists, and public agency leaders. Together, they’ll show how these groups can work together to make the transit a win in any city.

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Webinar: Connecting Communities: Saving Local Transit in the Bay Area & Beyond

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 12:00pm PDT

Transportation is one of the biggest challenges facing the Bay Area today. To build good transit, the discussion needs to focus on what matters—quality of service, all kinds of transit riders, the role of buildings, streets and sidewalks, and,...

Transportation is one of the biggest challenges facing the Bay Area today. To build good transit, the discussion needs to focus on what matters—quality of service, all kinds of transit riders, the role of buildings, streets and sidewalks, and, above all, getting transit in the right places.

Join Island Press and TransForm for a webinar on improving local transit in the Bay Area and beyond, part of the Connecting Communities series this fall. Christof Spieler, author of Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit, will discuss how to strengthen local transit, putting the Bay Area’s challenges in context with other regions around the country. Spieler will discuss strategies to revive interest in transit and boost ridership locally and regionally, in conversation with a local transit advocate and a transit agency representative.

Participants:
- Christof Spieler, PE, LEED AP, is a Vice President and Director of Planning at Huitt-Zollars and a Lecturer in Architecture and Engineering at Rice University
- Christy Wegener, Project Manager for San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans)
- Chris Lepe, Regional Policy Director, TransForm

 

This webinar is part of Connecting Communities 2019. This series of events will highlight transportation and housing solutions that advance climate protection and social equity. 

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Author Talk with Christof Spieler on An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 7:30pm PDT
Town Hall Seattle
1119 8th Ave (West Entrance)
Seattle, WA 98101
United States

In the US, the 25 largest metropolitan areas have fixed guideway rail or bus transit systems. Nearly all of them are talking about expanding—yet according to architecture and engineering expert Christof Spieler, discussions about transit are...

In the US, the 25 largest metropolitan areas have fixed guideway rail or bus transit systems. Nearly all of them are talking about expanding—yet according to architecture and engineering expert Christof Spieler, discussions about transit are still remarkably unsophisticated. Spieler brings us his vision of some of the most important discussion in transportation, encapsulated in his book Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit. He focuses the discussion on quality of service (not the technology that delivers it), the role of surrounding infrastructure, the diversity of riders, and the critical importance of ensuring transit systems access the right places. Spieler contends that geography, politics, and history have a tendency to complicate transit planning, and shows us how unique circumstances in individual major cities have resulted in the rise of very different transit systems nationwide. With accessible viewpoints for citizens, professionals, and policymakers alike, Spieler presents us with a comprehensive and understandable evaluation of our nation’s transit networks—their history, their future, what makes them effective, and how they can improve.

Christof Spieler has spent over a decade advocating for transit as a writer, community leader, urban planner, transit board member, and enthusiast. He is Vice President and Director of Planning at Huitt-Zollars and a Lecturer in Architecture and Engineering at Rice University. He was a member of the board of directors of Houston METRO from 2010 to 2018.


Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

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