Wow, transportation planners, engineers, and designers finally found a way to make the bus even more costly than light rail, and just in time for the self drive car to destroy public transit
Instapundit » Blog Archive » WHO KNEW SPEED RACER’S NEMESIS, THE MAMMOTH CAR, WAS A PROTOTYPE FOR 21st CENTURY MASS TRANSIT? Futu…
So, this monstrous machine, which will cost a monstrous amount and require massive infrastructure is the future? For whom? This like all mass transit will not hit anywhere near the gold standard of door to door service quickly and efficiently at low cost, and in relatively high comfort. No, one will still need to toddle a half mile to the monstrous bus station, and wait, and because it will only make sense to have a few stops, not only will the walk be long, but the load times will be as well. The cost of building every station high above the road, HUGE. And the travel time? It will still be about 20 mph, we've seen nothing that would indicate otherwise. Because it is incredibly top heavy it will be forced to go slow on any corners, load times will be long and slow, and the short distance between stops, likely a mile or so, will mean slow travel times.
Before this can even be built the self drive car, and the self drive share ride vehicle, and myriad other self drive vehicles will be on the road, and constantly improved. No additional infrastructure of merit will be necessary for the self drive vehicles, no rails, no special platform stations, no special electrical grid to power the vehicle, no special fueling stations for fuel driven "monsters." The only likely thing needs is automated parking, cleaning, and fueling facilities, but we have lots of parking garages and the automation of them will allow double or triple the cars in each garage, so the cost will likely be borne by the sale of the unnecessary garages back into more productive use.
Self drive vehicles will be door to door, and likely will be cheaper since engines will be small and efficient, insurance will be minuscule, highways will be able to carry double for triple the volume they do today, share ride vehicles could act like carpools (and even have separate cabins for each party), dropping costs even further, rapid amortization of the asset will also help drop costs.
Or you can walk a half mile to wait with 200 of your closest strangers, to take forever to load on what amounts to a modern looking 19th century train which will slowly toddle down the road, occasionally stopping for long periods of time to load more passengers, until you debark at your stop where you will have a brisk, cathartic 1/2 mile, or more, walk to your destination, if you are lucky, if not, you will have a drudgerous wait for transfer, then a slow ride on to your destination, where you will be faced with your health inducing 1/2 mile walk. Leave early, if this thing breaks down you will likely have to walk a mile or more to the next station and hope they back-run a monster to pick you up.
This is not the future for anyone except the urban and transportation planners of the Smarty Pants growth city. Ugh!