Also: How to create safer public housing projects, and when Soviet industrial designers imagined a better world.

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What We’re Following

The bus stops here: Even if you ride the bus every day, there’s so much you don’t know about your bus driver’s day. Driving a 36,000-pound, 40-foot-long vehicle through crowded and chaotic streets is a delicate, dangerous dance. Today on CityLab, Brendan Bartholomew, a driver for San Francisco’s Muni offers a driver’s-eye view of what it’s like behind the wheel of a city bus, beginning with the intense driver training bootcamp that drills in the safety-first mantra as an almost sacred discipline.

It’s not just what bus drivers see through the windshield: They are steering one of the last vestiges of the public square and transporting the passengers who often face the city’s toughest challenges. Intersecting with people’s daily lives means their jobs are just as much about customer service as driving their routes. “Drive a bus, and you are simultaneously a whipping boy, sounding board, hall monitor, and priest-confessor,” writes Bartholomew. “You see people at their happiest and at their worst.” Read it here: Confessions of a Rookie Bus Driver

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

How to Create Safer Public Housing Projects

Despite its fearsome reputation, a new study finds most low-income housing projects aren't magnets for crime. What makes some more dangerous?

Michael Friedrich

Why Is Your State Red or Blue? Look to the Dominant Occupational Class

States with more working-class voters are solidly red; those with a dominant creative class are solidly blue; service-class heavy states aren’t easily defined.

Richard Florida

Bikeshare, Scooters, Cars, Trains, Bridges: One Agency to Rule Them All

For transport to truly enhance quality of life in a city, one regional agency should have jurisdiction over everything transportation-related in a metro area.

David Zipper

When Soviet Industrial Designers Imagined a Better World

Thanks to tireless work by the Moscow Museum of Design, a forgotten institute’s lost work is being introduced to a new generation of designers.

Mark Byrnes

Developers in This Palestine City Are Destroying Historic Homes

A construction boom that begun under Salam Fayyad has claimed much of the historic architecture in Ramallah. Some locals are trying to save what is left.

Dalia Hatuqa


Look ma, no car!

(Mike Derer/AP)

When we first started our series about raising kids in the city, Room to Grow, many of you told us about wanting to go car-free, but were worried about the additional challenges with small children.

Now we want to hear from those of you who are making it work. If you or anyone you know might be interested in sharing their experiences of walking, biking, bus riding, train hopping, and ride-hailing with the kids in tow, please fill out or share our survey here.


What We’re Reading

Newly elected Democratic Socialists could shake up the affordable housing conversation (Governing)

San Francisco becomes first major U.S. city to propose eliminating parking minimums (Quartz)

How autonomous vehicle companies stack up on safety (Business Insider)

Why isn’t Mitch McConnell bringing up criminal justice reform? (Washington Post)

Snapping point: How architects fell under Instagram’s spell (The Guardian)


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About the Author

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