New Book: Transit Life

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David Bissell

Apr 22, 2018, 9:31:25 PM4/22/18

Dear Mobilities Researchers,


Some list members might be interested to know that my book Transit Life: How Commuting Is Transforming Our Cities has just been published by MIT Press. Here is the blurb to give you a sense of the themes and approach:


We spend much of our lives in transit to and from work. Although we might dismiss our daily commute as a wearying slog, we rarely stop to think about the significance of these daily journeys. In Transit Life, David Bissell explores how everyday life in cities is increasingly defined by commuting. Examining the overlooked events and encounters of the commute, Bissell shows that the material experiences of our daily journeys are transforming life in our cities. The commute is a time where some of the most pressing tensions of contemporary life play out, striking at the heart of such issues as our work-life balance; our relationships with others; our sense of place; and our understanding of who we are.


Drawing on in-depth fieldwork with commuters, journalists, transit advocates, policymakers, and others in Sydney, Australia, Transit Life takes a holistic perspective to change how we think about commuting. Rather than arguing that transport infrastructure investment alone can solve our commuting problems, Bissell explores the more subtle but powerful forms of social change that commuting creates. He examines the complex politics of urban mobility through multiple dimensions, including the competencies that commuters develop over time; commuting dispositions and the social life of the commute; the multiple temporalities of commuting; the experience of commuting spaces, from footpath to on-ramp, both physical and digital; the voices of commuting, from private rants to drive-time radio; and the interplay of materialities, ideas, advocates, and organizations in commuting infrastructures.


Full details can be found on the MIT Press website:


Best wishes,





David Bissell

Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow

School of Geography
The University of Melbourne
221 Bouverie St, Carlton, VIC 3053



T: +61 3 834 43889


Tw: @davidbissell



New book: Transit Life: How Commuting is Transforming Our Cities (MIT Press, 2018)


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