Transit advocates want to believe in win-win-wins and they don’t want labor strife, but there is nowhere on earth with frequent and cheap regional rail service and multiple conductors per train. One conductor MIGHT be acceptable, but abroad, it’s usually zero
We MUST bring down operating costs. Some advocates have done the math and think lower fares might be possible without labor efficiencies, but using the “social proof” heuristic – looking at systems delivering the service we want and seeing how they do it – I doubt it’s possible
In Italy, some regional rail has one conductor, I’m told, and some long trains (the type that in the NY area might have 5+ conductors) even have two. Very crowded Japanese trains often have one. But as a rule, S-Bahn and RER systems have no conductors
And by the way – those systems that do have a conductor (or even two!) have low wages. Being a commuter rail conductor in the US is high five-digit, low six-digit job. Italy gets away with low fares and two conductors on long train, but they don’t have $120k compensation packages

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More from @MarketUrbanism

20 Feb
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