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Showing posts from 2010

All I Want For Christmas is a Super-Intelligent Public Transit System - Part 1

I was having a friendly debate with another commenter over at Chicagoist, in an article lamenting the latest round of RTA cuts. Upon floating some rough ideas for how Chicago's transit system (or, indeed, any city's transit system) could be made to operate more dynamically, I was rebuked by a solid wall of skepticism.

I think my biggest problem--and my problem with most technology--is that I simply don't see the benefit outweighing the expense of implementation coupled with ongoing maintenance. I honestly believe that a simple, fixed route bus system runs about as efficiently as it is possible for a bus system to run.

Could it be? That nearly the simplest possible approach to a bus system one can imagine happens to be the most efficient? I find that to be highly unlikely. Many problem domains don't favor simple approaches. Said another way: the universe is complex; deal with it. Take one example from the field of computer science: sorting numbers. Specifically, how …