Yonah Freemark

The Transport Politic

The Transport Politic was created in October 2008 and tracks the state of transit in the U.S. and around the world; I founded the site and write the majority of its posts. The site’s goal is to explore the intricate relationships between transportation projects and politics, both at the national and local levels.

Thanks to work on the site, I have been interviewed for articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Miller-McCune, CNN, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Politico, City Journal, Remapping Debate, National Review Online, and The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. In addition, I have been interviewed for television by Al Jazeera America; for radio by Science Friday, WUSF, KPBS, KCRW, WNYC, WNPR, WBUR and Marketplace;  and online for the Infra Blog. I was featured in a video produced by Vox.

The Transport Politic was named one of Planetizen’s Top Ten sites for 2010 and then again in 2016, with the following praise: “Whether you’re an interested citizen, a studious politician, an ambitious planner, or a fact-checking journalist, The Transport Politic is simply the most valuable online asset for transit research.” The associated @yfreemark Twitter profile was named one of the Top 25 Transportation Sources to Follow in 2012 by the Urban Land Institute.

Associated project: Transit Explorer and Transit Explorer France

Transit Explorer and Transit Explorer France are extensions of The Transport Politic; I created it in association with Steven Vance. They are an interactive website allows users to explore existing, under construction, and planned transit throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and separately, throughout France. The project, built on an open-source platform, is designed to be easily used by any viewer.

The website features information about all lines and also includes a “What If” layer that allows viewers to see where previously proposed–but now cancelled–lines would have run if they had been completed. Data and code are provided in open-source formats for free by any interested user. I discussed Transit Explorer in detail with Jeff Wood on the Talking Headways Streetsblog podcast.

Associated project: Transport Databook

To supplement the other elements of The Transport Politic, I created Transport Databook to offer frequently updated data for researchers and others interested in transportation. The Databook provides in-depth data, available to download by anyone on the web, on subjects ranging from vehicle miles traveled, transportation mode shares, transit ridership by region, and rail route length, among many resources.