Thursday, October 9, 2014

Are LRTs and Subways becoming Obsolete?

English: A Tesla Roadster, Reva i and Ford Th!...
English: A Tesla Roadster, Reva i and Ford Th!nk electric cars parked at a free parking and charging station near Akershus fortress in Oslo, Norway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By 2040, We Won't Need Subways (Candice Malcolm, Huffington Post Blog from Toronto Sun, Aug. 25, 2014)

Today we review a forward looking article which predicts that subways and Light Train Transit systems will be a fossil of the past when the technological revolution taking place in today and tomorrow’s cities replace them with driverless electric cars which are already a reality in some places. This outlook is not new to anyone who follows developments in urban mobility and makes one wonder about the wisdom of the Mayors in some cities, such as Toronto and Ottawa, where billions of dollars are projected and planned to buy obsolete forms of transportation that will not likely come close to meeting future demands. 

Key Quotes:

“Premier Kathleen Wynne's solution to the transportation infrastructure problem is to spend a whopping $50 billion of taxpayer money over the next 25 years to build an expansive rail network. By 2040, Toronto may finally have the subways that other cities built nearly 200 years earlier”

“examples of ideas and companies that will change transportation as we know it:
  • Ride-sharing…Lyft, the next generation ride-sharing app, has its own drivers and offers rides for a fraction of the price of taxis.
  • Autonomous, or self-driving cars…These cars, now legal in four U.S. states, have logged over a million kilometres on California roads without causing an accident
  • Electric cars…electric cars are greener and cleaner than building new subways, but will require plenty of infrastructure, like charging stations, and more roads and highways”
“These dramatic changes will revolutionize transportation in the coming years, and make a $50 billion subway system irrelevant.”

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