"The future is coming folks. And this is going really be neat. It will be fun watching it develop. As for you young people - pay attention. One day your grand kids will ask you if you remember the days when we had to operate our own cars. Our brave new world awaits us all..."
Reading the morning paper was like seeing an episode of the Keystone Cops, with the Met Council acting as the Keystone Cops. There are so many things wrong with this Southwest LRT project right now, it almost reads like a case study back in business school. For example, here is a real messed up situation - can you find ways to fix it? Most students would have thrown up their hands and gladly taken an "F" on the project.
For all the reasons to cancel this thing, and there are legions (like it will cost a mint an very few will benefit), there one reason which stands out above the rest. Time and technology have passed this era by. Just in case the Met Council has not noticed this as yet, our society is now the "on demand" society. Relying on trains which run on a fixed route under a fixed schedule is antithetical to "on demand" thinking.
I started to learn about this whole "on demand" thing when I was at IBM in the early 2000's. This was long before Comcast started using it for shows. IBM was going to use it for software. If a customer needed a type of software, he could poke the request up on his laptop and, BOOM, there it was! Today if you notice, we expect everything to be on demand. Check out Amazon if you don't believe it. Our patience to wait has all but evaporated.
Back to the choo-choo trains. I have been reading more and more about how fast the HUGE new revolution of driver-less cars is approaching. By the way, some of that future is already here. The market for this new technology is going to be so big, so sweeping, the car manufacturers are moving up their integration plans. Bottom line - by 2020 (a whopping two years and change away), seeing a driver-less car will no longer be a head turner. It will start to be commonplace.
One article I recently read said the revolution of driver-less cars and trucks will do to the transportation industry what the computer did to the information industry. Yes, the article said, this coming change will be that profound.
Here is the nexus - the upcoming collision of the old and the new. We have AI and auto makers rushing pell mell into 2020 to try and capture a nice share of this alluring new market. At the same time, if it ever gets built, we will have the new shiny Southwest LRT coming online around 2022. And all this will be happening right in the middle of a whole pack of "on demand" millennials.
If we had a normal Governor, rather than an impaired statist, he or she could end this nonsense. As the former valley girls would say, "Trains are so, so yesterday". Take the money allocated to trains, and reallocate it to roads. Like how to integrate this technology into our infrastructure.
The future is coming folks. And this is going really be neat. It will be fun watching it develop. As for you young people - pay attention. One day your grand kids will ask you if you remember the days when we had to operate our own cars. Our brave new world awaits us all...