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initiald Jun 5, 2013 5:41 PM

Six routes on table for high-speed rail between Charlotte and Atlanta

Details and larger map

M II A II R II K Jun 8, 2013 4:03 PM

Stockholm's male train drivers wearing skirts to work

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More than a dozen male employees working for the Roslagsbanan train services in the Swedish capital have been wearing skirts in order to keep cool.

One of the drivers, Martin Åkersten, explained that temperatures can hit 95F (35C) in the train cab during the summer. Uniform regulations by the train company Arriva state that skirts or long trousers are acceptable. At a meeting last year, drivers were told that shorts were not allowed. They have given their blessing to the men wearing skirts however.


Swede Jun 9, 2013 5:29 AM

Here's the BBC link:

They have a picture of one of the drivers too:

Note that the pic Mark posted is of the subway (old cars). This is what Roslagsbanan looks like;

SpawnOfVulcan Jun 9, 2013 7:42 AM

Have they given their blessing because they find the skirts comical while being worn by the guys or because the have a personal vendetta against shorts? I fail to understand the utterly dramatic difference between shorts and skirts...

Swede Jun 9, 2013 9:12 AM

The local tv news did a short clip on it: link.

It's nothing to do with "comical" afaik, just bureaucrats who think shorts look unprofessional and thus can't be part of uniforms. That plus understanding that they don't have any basis for banning skirts for men that'd hold up in the court of public opinion.

vid Jun 9, 2013 2:29 PM

Skirts on men is considered more professional than shorts on men?

Banning shorts is OK, but banning skirts would be unpopular?

The summer uniform for transit in my city is a polo and shorts, for both genders. And our buses are air conditioned!

M II A II R II K Jun 9, 2013 2:35 PM

What about A/C!

Swede Jun 9, 2013 3:26 PM

The trains in question are from the 80s. A/C started being used on transit here only about 15 years ago or so, and it's still far from everywhere (even for new vehicles). Somehow the people in charge of buying the rolling stock doesn't think it gets warm & sunny up here. It does. The focus has been more on heating than cooling, so the heating usually works at least.

Yeah, skirts are considered more professional. By the people making the uniform decisions . A simple skirt does have cleaner lines than almost all shorts, so it makes some kind of sense. But mostly it's about up-tight bosses who don't get that not everyone works in a nice office with A/C, IMO.

M II A II R II K Jul 3, 2013 3:41 AM

Check out Google Flights:

M II A II R II K Jul 7, 2013 6:48 PM

How Driverless Cars Could Reshape Cities

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Imagine a city where you don’t drive in loops looking for a parking spot because your car drops you off and scoots off to some location to wait, sort of like taxi holding pens at airports. Or maybe it’s picked up by a robotic minder and carted off with other vehicles, like a row of shopping carts.

- Inner-city parking lots could become parks. Traffic lights could be less common because hidden sensors in cars and streets coordinate traffic. And, yes, parking tickets could become a rarity since cars will be smart enough to know where they are not supposed to be. As scientists and car companies forge ahead — many expect self-driving cars to become commonplace in the next decade — researchers, city planners and engineers are contemplating how city spaces could change if our cars start doing the driving for us.

- That city of the future could have narrower streets because parking spots would no longer be necessary. And the air would be cleaner because people would drive less. According to the the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 30 percent of driving in business districts is wasted in a hunt for a parking spot. The agency estimates that almost one billion miles of driving is wasted every year as people search for parking.

- Harvard University researchers note that as much as one-third of the land in some cities is devoted to parking spots. Some city planners expect that the cost of homes will fall as more space will become available in cities. If parking on city streets is reduced and other vehicles on roadways become smaller, homes and offices will take up that space. Today’s big-box stores and shopping malls require immense areas for parking, but without those needs, they could move further into cities.

- The Autonomous Intersection Management project, created by the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin, imagines cities where traffic lights no longer exist but sensors direct the flow of traffic. Although a video showing off the automated traffic intersection looks like total chaos, the researchers insist that such intersections will reduce congestion and fuel costs and can allow cars to drive through cities without stopping.

- “The future city is not going to be a congestion-free environment. That same prediction was made that cars would free cities from the congestion of horses on the street,” said Bryant Walker Smith, a fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School and a member of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford. “You have to build the sewer system to accommodate the breaks during the Super Bowl; it won’t be as pretty as we’re envisioning.”

- Mr. Smith has an alternative vision of the impact of automated cars, which he believes are inevitable. Never mind that nice city center. He says that driveless cars will allow people to live farther from their offices and that the car could become an extension of home. “I could sleep in my driverless car, or have an exercise bike in the back of the car to work out on the way to work,” he said. “My time spent in my car will essentially be very different.”

- “Driverless cars won’t appear in a vacuum,” Mr. Smith said. Other predictions for the future city imagine fewer traditional-looking cars. Taking their place will be drones and robots that deliver goods. Oh, and that food-delivery car double-parked outside? That, Mr. Calo said, will be replaced by a delivery drone.


Video Link

Aylmer Jul 8, 2013 5:44 AM

In the future, I guess no one walks or bikes either...

M II A II R II K Jul 8, 2013 3:42 PM

Perhaps not, if they walk or bike or run, they would only do it for fun!

Video Link

M II A II R II K Jul 14, 2013 6:11 PM

Transit Time NYC:


Pick a start point and see subway travel times to everywhere else in NYC. Just click the map or enter an address. Staten Island Railway included; ferries, buses and bikes are not.

M II A II R II K Jul 28, 2013 6:02 PM

Can Concentric Circles Save Subway Sanity?




The U.K.'s Max Roberts, a mapmaker and critic, has created a map that sees its simplifying problem and then solves it by taking a similar approach, but to a much greater degree. The map heads in the direction of a diagram and away from a map trying to represent geographic features.


M II A II R II K Jul 28, 2013 6:02 PM

KevinFromTexas Aug 1, 2013 4:41 AM

Video Link

Wizened Variations Aug 1, 2013 5:11 PM


Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas (Post 6217581)

A great subsidy opportunity for the wheel alignment business.

M II A II R II K Aug 6, 2013 7:29 PM

World’s first road-powered electric vehicle network switches on in South Korea

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South Korea has rolled out the world’s first road-powered electric vehicle network. The network consists of special roads that have electrical cables buried just below the surface, which wirelessly transfer energy to electric vehicles via magnetic resonance.

- Road-powered electric vehicles are exciting because they only require small batteries, significantly reducing their overall weight and thus their energy consumption. There’s also the small fact that, with an electrified roadway, you never have to plug your vehicle in to recharge it, removing most of the risk and range anxiety associated with electric vehicles (EVs).

- Exact details of the system are hard to come by, but we believe that the power is delivered by cables that are around 12 inches (30cm) below the road surface. The power is transmitted wirelessly via Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR), a technology developed by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) that essentially runs 100 kilowatts of power through some cables at a very specific frequency (20 kHz in this case), creating a 20 kHz electromagnetic field. The underside of the bus is equipped with a pick-up coil that’s tuned to pick up that frequency, and thus AC electricity is produced via magnetic resonance.

- The OLEV receives 100 kilowatts of power via SMFIR, while maintaining a 17cm gap between the underside of the bus and the road surface. Because each OLEV has a small battery (about one-third the size of the battery in a conventional EV), only small portions of the road (5-15%) need to be electrified. Further increasing efficiency and reducing the radiation received by other road users and pedestrians, the electrified sections only turn on when an OLEV approaches.

- Moving forward, 10 more buses will be added to the network by 2015 — and presumably there are also plans to add more stretches of electrified roads. The fact that only 5-15% of the road needs to be dug up and replaced might sound positive at first blush, but it’s still a massive undertaking in any kind of built-up area. Trains and trams might require electricity for their entire runs, but it’s much easier to install overhead power lines than to dig up a road.

- Still, if we push the logistical issues aside for a moment, it’s hard to overstate the advantages of a nationwide electrified road network. You would never need to stop at a filling/charging station ever again. The design and engineering of cars would change dramatically, as large engines, fuel tanks, and batteries would no longer be required. Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels would of course be a boon to the environment, too. The electric road would be a network in the computer sense of the word, too, potentially allowing for all sorts of vehicle tracking, autonomous driving, vehicle-to-vehicle networks, smart braking, and more.


Hybrid vs. OLEV

M II A II R II K Aug 13, 2013 5:59 PM

NY man arrested 29 times for nabbing trains, buses

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Darius McCollum can explain the complicated workings of the New York City transit system with the precision of a veteran conductor. He knows every subway stop, every line, every train. It's an obsession that has dominated his life. But instead of becoming a transit worker, he's become a transit impostor.

- Twenty-nine times, beginning when he was a teenager, he's been arrested for crimes that include piloting a subway train, stealing a bus and donning uniforms to pose as a conductor and even track worker. "I've always loved trains, ever since I can remember. I had the whole subway map memorized by the time I was 8. People would call me to ask how to get somewhere," said the 49-year-old McCollum, who has spent nearly a third of his life behind bars.

- Attorney Sally Butler says McCollum's actions are the result of uncontrolled impulses, a byproduct of what was until recently called Asperger's syndrome but is now considered an autism spectrum disorder. She says the district attorney's office agrees, and they have worked on a solution: McCollum pleaded guilty to stealing the bus, and instead of being sentenced Thursday to 15 years as a habitual offender, he will get 2 ½ to 5 years and voluntarily undergo cognitive behavioral therapy.


M II A II R II K Aug 13, 2013 6:04 PM

Video Link

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