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Showing posts from February, 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. Specificall