Gabe Klein

Gabe Klein is the former DOT director under Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration in Chicago and former Director of the District DOT under Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. Before working in local government, Klein worked at a few startups, including Zipcar. In 2015, in addition to his other roles, Klein joined Fontinalis Partners as an SVP (Special Venture Partner) on their new fund. Klein continues to advise a number of technology and mobility companies, including Transit Screen and Phone2Action, where he provides leadership on strategy. He is on the board of NACTO and Streetsblog.

Ask Island Press: How Could Buses Be Better?

Buses are having somewhat of a moment.

Buses are having somewhat of a moment. This spring, the Washington Post asked if riding the bus is finally becoming cool, while Lyft is beta-testing a shuttle service that many have compared to the bus, albeit one that may perpetuate problems of inequity. At Island Press, we're fans of public transportation, or anything that gets people out of their cars and reduces the need for parking. But buses are not above critique. To find out how buses can be better, we asked bus-commuting Island Press staff and authors: What would you change about the bus system? Check out their responses, and share your ideas for improving buses in the comments below. 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

"A reliable schedule app—one that really woks and shows when the bus is coming, weather-protective bus stop furniture that helps riders feel safe, too, and direct routing whenever possible."
Chuck Wolfe author of Seeing the Better City and Urbanism Without Effort 

"More attentive to folks waiting around the bus area. Sometimes while waiting for a bus I go under the shade of a tree or sign and the bus driver drives past because he doesn’t look anywhere but the bus stop itself, dedicated bus lane, and more routes while Safetrack is happening."
—Kyler Geoffroy, Online Marketing Manager

"On major arterial streets I would love to see dedicated bus lanes that would make the bus more reliable, faster, and easier to figure out where it goes; like rail with physical tracks. Also, smaller busses in neighborhoods that are size appropriate and more flexible in pickup and drop off. Last, a simpler naming system so it was more clear where the bus went, and a digital interface with simple payment, trip planning and transfer."
Gabe Klein author of Start-Up City

NYC Transit New Flyer 840.jpg
A Flyer C40LF public transit bus in Brooklyn, New York, via Wikimedia Commons

"I would like accurate tracking of incoming buses (the current app estimations are not always correct), and perhaps a visual of the buses along the route to help understand how far away they are."
—Megan MacIver, Development Associate

"Bus service needs to be legible and frequent, and forming a connected network (including with Metro). Then, to the extent feasible, it needs to be protected from traffic. European buses are also generally better than US in terms look-and-feel and amenity. These things can all be gotten right, to deliver a 'rail-like' experience without the expense and operational hassles of rail tracks in the street."
Jarrett Walker author of Human Transit

"Better bus tracking, no more ghost busses. Watching a bus vanish from the list of upcoming arrivals, with no new busses coming for a half hour or more, is the single most frustrating thing about bus travel for me."
—Rebecca Bright, Associate Editor

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Interview with Gabe Klein: Have We Reached 'Peak Car' In Cities?

Options like Uber, Lyft, Zipcar, and bikesharing have some people stepping out of their cars and turning to alternative modes of transportation.

Options like Uber, Lyft, Zipcar, and bikesharing have some people stepping out of their cars and turning to alternative modes of transportation. Do these new options mean we've reached peak car use in cities? Transportation guru and Start-Up City author Gabe Klein weighs in on National Public Radio's "Here and Now." Hear what the former DOT director of Washington, DC and Chicago and former Zipcar executive has to say about which cities are leading in transportation innovation, what a decline in car use means for equality, and more. 



#ForewordFriday: Where There's a Will, There's a Way Edition

Where there's a will, there's a way. That's what Gabe Klein believes anyway.

Where there's a will, there's a way. That's what Gabe Klein believes anyway. The Start-Up City author made a name for himself in government and in start-ups as a change agent who can cut through the morass to get things done. His new book outlines seven lessons he's learned for inspiring private and public entrepreneurship, getting projects done, and having fun. His ideas are generationg a lot of attention: NPRLA TimesUSA Today, Washingtonianand more have all recently spoken to him about his expertise. 

Check out Lesson #3‒Where There's a Will, There's a Way‒from his book below and see what all the buzz has been about.