Today in Copenhagen got me thinking about this picture (h/t @StreetsblogUSA). Many of my sustainable transport advocates show this as a way of highlighting buses and trains can be better integrated. Done very well in Copenhagen.
The reaction from many of my rail fellows is usually one of horror. How can we allow this on trains? Think of the passengers. Both sides, however, miss a fundamental point.
This increases capacity for sustainable transport trips.
The obvious one is the available capacity for passengers on the train. In the times I have used the Copenhagen rail system, I have, at most, seen one bike parked there. The rest is taken up with people seated or standing.
Attended my first startup pitch evening for a while, for startups working with a major bus operator. The sense from the audience (mainly bus people) reaction was impressed with anything with AI and Big Data, less so with stuff that helps with the basics.
A cleaning startup was practically mocked. A software that enabled better route scheduling had glazed looks, and a demand responsive coach service got the cold shoulder until they pitched their growth statistics. And the business they were nicking off the bus operators.
All of the pitches were actually pretty good, and have a clear problem definition and strategy to solve it. Personally I loved the school run taxi service and a service that basically took the data the operators have and made it useful.
I am in two minds on this whole algorithm debate. What doesn't help is the hysteria on one side, and a dismissive "trust us" attitude on the other. theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
On one hand, yes they could have hugely negative consequences. Ones that should be understood and people held account for. Especially in public services.
On the other, if the algorithm makes better decisions than humans 99% of the time, shouldn't we just do it? Then arguments focus on the outcome, not the process. And if we studied every possible outcome before delivering, nothing would get done.
Taylor Swift fans: That song dissed her ex. That’s edgy.
Drake fans: He’s disrespecting a fellow rapper. Sweet.
Me: Axl Rose wrote a song about a personal vendetta against journalists. He named them, and told them in no uncertain terms what to do. Amateurs open.spotify.com/track/1Tay8nNh…
Fishing is dying because of EU quotas. No fishing is dying because fish stocks have crashed, and these quotas have stopped them being obliterated. It’s a bit hard to fish when there are no fish.
Not to mention these quotas and the boats were sold off by the British fishing industry. Your average skipper on a trawler got shafted because companies got greedy. But nope, blame the EU. It’s easier.
I both agree and disagree with this. Mainly because work and leisure time is becoming increasingly blended for many. bbc.co.uk/news/amp/educa…
That's not necessarily because you are being forced to work all the time (though that's a part of it), but because time is being taken off during the week (often for good reason) then it can be made up for in leisure time.
Personally, having set hours a week and having choice as to when you work them would be ideal. Too often flexitime is stipulated on you being in the office every day.
Looking at the site (and walking it today), it’s one of those few that both have some demand to justify new infrastructure, and has loads of potential to enable new development.
It’s also a site where the Council was actually proactive in trying to make it happen. Being suggested in the Cambridge Structure Plan back in 2003. Naturally, @networkrail said “prove the business case.” So @CambsCC did.
This is all true. But the decision to give the work is made by people who have at best a partial view of the supply chain, and have no view over the internal finances of bidders. telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/…
On the big contracts there is financial due diligence. But that is focussed on whether they can complete the job at hand, and the creditworthiness of the company (or companies in joint ventures). Even then, the question of whether they can do the work trumps it.
The financial markets only started to get shitty with Carillion in the final 6 months of its life. Until then, every financial due diligence checked out. So how the hell is an engineer making a decision on a maintenance contract to know?
Simply, @Waymo are at the point where most of the components of ‘normal’ driving it can do quite well. But the edge cases make or break the tech. And they are endless. They have gone through hundreds and are still just scratching the surface.
The good thing about them, compared to the cavalier attitude at @Uber, is that their cars stop when confused about what to do. Highly irritating for the passenger, but the best course of action.
Right, an obvious point here. @Uber is losing money anyway, so all that matters here is the variance in margin. If the margin is lower, and assuming similar PED from their San Francisco trials, hire bikes will be easier to charge profitably bbc.com/news/business-…
If @Uber put all its profitably eggs in the AV basket, it was a losing bet anyway as it’s not here yet. Hire bikes are lower cost, and seemingly with only a slightly lower cost than UberPool. Incredibly, an accidental partnership may save the company.
Of course them waking up to bike sharing potential and not flooding streets with more cars must be welcomed. But I would be shocked if this reflects a whole new company ethos.
Sat in the cafe at @forest_centre this afternoon. Ladies next to is talking loudly. Saying "I used to come here from Luton every week. Now they've put in a parking charge I don't come as much."
This parking charge is £2 for 3 hours. Hardly a rip off, and literally the price of a cup of coffee. Why on Earth is there this line of thought with parking charges where any charge is a rip off, but is nothing in the context of a trip?
Has there been any academic study into the psychology of this? And not just value-based economic studies that make decision making assumptions? It has endlessly fascinated me.
By contrast, @eastwestrail has been fought for locally, led by Councils, for 20 years. With a few exceptions, it is universally popular as locals have been involved from the start. Many are even willing to see housing development as a result (see Winslow).
So the idea that local democracy is somehow a blocker to nationally important infrastructure is foolish. How it comes about is important.
I’m at a petrol station in High Wycombe. Awaiting my sister-in-law to come deliver some money so that I can buy petrol to get home. The sheer number of things that had to go wrong for me to be in this position was insane.
1. Leaving the house this morning I lost my wallet. Bit of a fuck up on my part to be honest. But no biggie. This is the age of teh internez. I don’t need cash or cards. Oh fuck was I wrong.
2. Loads of fuel in the tank. Again, no biggie. A small diversion on my way to Oxford to start the day. Still loads in there to get me home. When I got to Oxford was when I realised my wallet was at home. Wife who is at home could not find it either.
This is far more complicated than it seems, as there are many unknowns on e-cigarettes. Not least their long term impacts on getting people to quit smoking. The science simply says that it’s not as bad as smoking.
Do you favour trying to help those using e-cigs as a means to quit by getting them to smoke away from smokers, or do you favour those choosing to do neither?
A personal, subjective view. I quite like not going to the pub and coming away from it reeking because of other people’s choices. But I’m happy to be swayed by the science that is, as of yet, inconclusive.
The transport industry will be screwed at a fundamental level due to Brexit. I expect a lack of grasp of detail from a Minister. But a departmental strategy that is basically pinning everything on a deal being pulled out of a hat is worrying.
This isn’t just about lorries queuing at Dover or no flights either. It’s the following:
1. Management of shipping lanes and agreements on short sea shipping. 2. Component parts for our train and lorry builders, not to mention automotive industry.
3. Mutual acceptance of licencing to drive in other countries. 4. Transporting hazardous goods, that we have no institutional capability to handle. 5. A tonne of engineering expertise from EU nationals living here that helps us be one of the leading countries in the world for it.
It's a bridge collapse FFS. I'm not certain of much, but one thing I am certain of is that there is rarely one, clear reason for these sorts of disasters.
Sadly, the dice are loaded in the favour of the speculators. They can shout off any batshit theory in the vaccum when the actual work is being done, and not suffer consequences for it. And news coverage laps it up.