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Blue Model Death Watch
Driverless Subways Are Coming
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  • michaelj68

    I know the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in the SF Bay area is automated. That does not BART from having a person in each train earning six figure compensation.

  • S.C. Schwarz

    This technology is far too advanced for a backward Luddite country like the US. Ever ride in the New York City subway? It’s a marvelous museum of early 20th century technology.

    • michaelj68

      Including using DC current to power the subway. NYC is dotted with DC substation power converters.

      • Josephbleau

        Until very recently DC motors have been the only way to get efficient speed control and braking without the ability to use IC engines underground 60 cycle motors only run at fixed speed based on limited numbers of poles.. We could start changing them out with higher priced variable frequency units but there is no scale. In Chicago the Metra electric and South Shore train lines have run on DC since 1930, the DC power is produced with high efficiency at coal power plants turning the DC gen sets with steam turbines. Can’t get much cheaper than that. All engineers eventually find out that the old guys were not stupid.

  • FriendlyGoat

    I sometimes wonder whether the authors at this place ever enjoyed any form of tenure at anything. Even though we all know that a good economy involves creative destruction and that some jobs go away as a result, there is something rather sickening here about the glee regularly expressed over the prospect of killing someone’s former job security. Coming from ACADEMICS, of all people, it’s really a bit much.

    • wigwag

      I couldn’t agree more; academics are, in general and with few exceptions,(I’m sure Professor Mead is an exception) the lowest form of human scum. If there is a group that contributes less to society while complaining and pontificating at the speed of light, I’d like to know who it is.

      I would certainly rather see transit workers enjoy tenure than faculty members.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Well, we ARE all here reading and writing because of the efforts of these academics to maintain a site, (so I won’t quite join you at the “scum” word) but it bothers me a lot when people from the ivy league background seem to think that most or all public employees or union members are bums. Yes, some of their jobs may go away, but that is not a cause for celebration. One would think that all the criticism of the “blue model” was coming here from rednecks in red states who are jealous of past earnings of workers in blue places—–and yet, that’s not quite the case, I don’t think, with the ownership of TAI. I wish they’d tone it down and simply present issues in a more balanced way.

  • CapitalistRoader

    Driverless trains are hardly a new devolopment. See:

    And it’s a good thing, too: Cheap mass transit is more important to the well being of a city than well-paid transit workers.

    Get rid of the word “mass” and I’m in full agreement. Autonomous cars are the future…mass transit is the past.

    • Josephbleau

      The driverless cars will be great, one day I’ll get in my car and it will say “I’m not taking you to work today, we are going to the Police Station to talk about your voting record.” “LOCK”

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