Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tube staff

This is something Journey Planner or ticket machines won't ever tell you:

Something the Journey Planner won't tell you

I have no definite opinion on driverless trains and unstaffed stations proposed and very likely to happen if Boris gets re-elected. As an engineer, I can completely agree that many positions are obsolete and no longer necessary, and all the talks that it'd be more dangerous and the system would collapse are utter rubbish. First all, "system" collapses every weekend on a regular basis. Then there are many examples from all over the world, and even in London DLR is driverless by design while Victoria, Jubilee and Central lines of London Underground are capable of running automatically: still existing driver's seat is no more than a substitute bench there.

On the other hand I can't agree with those who welcome changes for one simple reason - I just don't see clearly who will benefit from that. Fares will go down making the huge city more accessible and connected? Highly unlikely (as to my knowledge, they never did). More money would be spent on the infrastructure to lower the chance of that mysterious "signal failure" that plagues every other journey? But could that be solved with just pouring money into the older systems, or a complete refurbishment is required with quite a different bill?

If the only visible result of sacking hundreds of people (of whom many won't be able to apply their specific skills easily in any other area) is going to be someone's greater profit and healthier balance - honestly, I don't mind additional and probably unnecessary jobs providing them.

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