RT 38 – Andrew Nash – Implementing transit priority in Zurich

RT 38 – Andrew Nash – Implementing transit priority in Zurich

Researching Transit – Episode 38

Published: November 2021

Keywords: Public transport, transport policy, on-road transit priority, implementation

In this episode Dr James Reynolds talks to Andrew Nash about implementing priority for buses and trams in Zurich, Switzerland. Mr Nash is a Senior Researcher at the St Pölten University of Applied Sciences in Austria. He is also a Lecturer at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and a widely published transport researcher 

The episode starts with a brief discussion of Mr Nash’s background in transportation and politics. This includes him having stood for election to the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District Board of Directors. It is this history of involvement in the politics of transport that has helped shape Mr Nash’s interest in researching implementation, including that of the Citizen’s Transit Priority Initiative in Zurich.

The Citizen’s Transit Priority Initiative provided funding and a mandate to prioritise buses and trams in the City of Zurich. It was passed by voters in a 1977 ballot, having been submitted by members of the public after a proposal to build an underground (metro) system was rejected by the electorate in 1973.  Approximately 20 years ago, Mr Nash undertook a research project into the Citizen’s Transit Priority Initiative. He and Dr Reynolds initially discuss this research, how the Initiative has led to much success for Zurich’s transit system, and the lessons that can be applied   to implementing transit priority in other cities.  

Mr Nash has recently revisited the topic of Zurich in a new paper written with Professor Dr Francesco Corman and Professor Dr. Thomas Sauter-Servaes. In the latter part of this episode he and Dr Reynolds discuss the motivation for looking at Zurich again, and the city’s current efforts to prioritise transit and improve conditions for other road users. The discussion also touches on the political challenges of reallocating road space, and how experimenting with trials and pop-ups can help demonstrate and build support for change. 

Find out more about Andrew Nash and his work at:


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Music from this episode is from https://www.purple-planet.com

  • Date November 28, 2021
  • Tags Podcast