Transport for Humans

Transport for Humans

Are We Nearly There Yet?

Pete Dyson, Rory Sutherland


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Engineers plan transport systems, people use them. But the ways in which an engineer measures success – speed, journey time, efficiency – are often not the way that passengers think about a good trip. We are not cargo. We choose how and when to travel, influenced not only by speed and time but by habit, status, comfort, variety – and many other factors that engineering equations don’t capture at all. As we near the practical, physical limits of speed, capacity and punctuality, the greatest hope for a brighter future lies in adapting transport to more human wants and needs. Behavioural science has immense potential to improve the design of roads, railways, planes and pavements – as well as the ways in which we use them – but only when we embrace the messier reality of transport for humans. This is the moment. Climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and changing work–life priorities are shaking up long-held assumptions. There is a new way forward. This book maps out how to design transport for humans.


Pete Dyson: