Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cheap ways to increase capacity

I was on the subway today, and there was a young girl, probably in her mid teens, who stood in the narrow doorway of an H6, literally refusing to move. On top of all that, she gave attitude to everyone who bumped into her. It got me thinking of a few ways to reduce crowding and dwell times without building a new subway line.
  • Make the signal and computer upgrades to allow for automatic train control. It will allow trains to run closer together, and more consistently. Consistency is the key. It's wasted space if one train is running behind schedule due to crush loading and the next train is empty. The new system doesn't HAVE to eliminate any jobs, and all the cool cites like Vancouver and Montreal do it...
  • Buy more of the new subway cars which are open from end to end. This will hopefully spread crowds out much better, avoiding situations where one end of the train is crush-loaded, while the other end is empty.
  • Remove the dividing wall between the doorway and the seats next to the doorway. This will discourage people from standing in the doorway by removing the wall that they tend to lean on.
These are just a few suggestions, but as I said before, we don't have to dig any new subway lines to make them work.



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