"Transportation modeling in the United States is a huge industry with tons of engineers working to figure out how to predict travel behavior," writes Wood.
After reading Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink", Wood suggests that thinking from the consumer perspective on transit planning - i.e., "Where does it go?" - would be a helpful corrective:
"But as much as people around the country are often outside of the wonks when it comes to transit planning and designs, it seems to me that they are often right on the money when it comes to thinking about transit and transportation policy. The phrase "it doesn't go anywhere" is probably the most overused in the lexicon of citizens thinking about transit planning. But we do know from research that when a line does go somewhere it actually has riders, lots of them."