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kosciusko

OPTO on the (L)

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I wanted to bring up OPTO on the (L) 

According to wikipedia

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"The line also used OPTO (one person train operation) beginning in June 2005, but a combination of public outcry regarding perceived safety issues, which increased after the July 2005 London tube bombings, heavy lobbying by the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), as well as an arbitration ruling that MTA had breached its contract with TWU caused the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to end OPTO the following September. However, the MTA's successful implementation of countdown clocks on the L has been the first in the system.[9]"

And an article back in 05' from the gothamist

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 The transit unions had argued that straphanger safety was at issue, though riders themselves were divided about how effective conductors were. NYC Transit called the ruling an "overly technical" reading of the agreement, as it says one person train crews are only okay for trains under 300 feet, and the L train is 480 feet. However, NYPIRG and the Straphangers' Gene Russianoff told the Times, "It makes no sense in an age of terrorism to leave only one person at the front of a train that might be carrying more than 2,000 people." Well, of course - and only the MTA would invest millions in trains whose technology might not be used because they are not going over labor agreements with a fine tooth comb.

It just seems crazy to me that the (MTA) didn't put up a bigger fight for running OPTO and basically allowed themselves to be strongarmed by the TWU and fear-mongers who believe that a train over a certain length needs to have an extra  guy in the middle to open the doors. Is there something I'm missing here? Does the conductor in the middle really improve safety that much? Why wasn't this brought up before the equipment was installed? It just seems like money was wasted on installing the tech for OPTO and now it can't even be used, in addition to that 2x as many people are being employed to operate (L) trains then necessary. 

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There's too many people to have the T/O observing the whole station from his end, and it slowed down trains as well, when he would have to get up and then go work the doors. On shuttles it's not as disruptive.

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15 hours ago, Eric B said:

There's too many people to have the T/O observing the whole station from his end, and it slowed down trains as well, when he would have to get up and then go work the doors. On shuttles it's not as disruptive.

Hear hear! On the DC Metro, the time elapsed from the train stopping to the doors opening, particularly on a "doors left" platform, routinely runs anywhere from 3 to 10 seconds. Repeat for the door closing cycle, and you could easily see dwell times increase by 10 to 20 seconds at each station. Not that this will prevent OPTO, but it is a drawback. 

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This problem could be solved using cameras and screens on the platforms. In fact, this kind of setup already exists throughout the system, like at West 4 for example (although the screens are in the middle position)

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2 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

This problem could be solved using cameras and screens on the platforms. In fact, this kind of setup already exists throughout the system, like at West 4 for example (although the screens are in the middle position)

The door controls as manufactured require the Operator to be physically on the side of the train that is being opened. So taking advantage of a camera to keep the OPTO in the seat at the controls would require a fleet retrofit. 

Also there is the small matter of firing the half your staff that just doesn't go over well. 

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5 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

This problem could be solved using cameras and screens on the platforms. In fact, this kind of setup already exists throughout the system, like at West 4 for example (although the screens are in the middle position)

The (L)  is GoA 2 rated so it's technically STO ..  So not only would the cars need to be upgraded with the proper sensors et cetera. The Line itself would need a pretty hefty upgrade as well the go full GoA 4 or even GoA 3 in the case of full OPTO. 2030's let have the conversation again.

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5 hours ago, Jsunflyguy said:

Also there is the small matter of firing the half your staff that just doesn't go over well.

The (MTA) doesn't exist to provide jobs. If a way is found to make save taxpayer money by laying off a significant amount of unnecessary workers  it should be done.

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21 minutes ago, kosciusko said:

The (MTA) doesn't exist to provide jobs. If a way is found to make save taxpayer money by laying off a significant amount of unnecessary workers  it should be done.

The current (MTA) infrastructure isnt going to support full automation for quite sometime. Automation is coming we can't fight it. But workers aren't going anywhere for the next two decades at least  especially with a system with almost 7 million moving riders.

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8 hours ago, Jsunflyguy said:

The door controls as manufactured require the Operator to be physically on the side of the train that is being opened. So taking advantage of a camera to keep the OPTO in the seat at the controls would require a fleet retrofit. 

Also there is the small matter of firing the half your staff that just doesn't go over well. 

People could be retrained to run more service now that we can afford to.

Plus, who said anything about getting fired? What's the MTA's rate of attrition?

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36 minutes ago, bobtehpanda said:

People could be retrained to run more service now that we can afford to.

Plus, who said anything about getting fired? What's the MTA's rate of attrition?

ATO/CBTC *might* get some lines up to 30tph, which with interling would be 15tph for express lines via Manhattan at a maximum. Even ignoring the increased dwell time from OPTO there is only a miniscule amount of service that can be added because of the above constraints and limitations at most terminals which can only service 30tph at a maximum under ideal circumstances. Added off peak service might be possible but considering that the off peak time is used for maintenance, swapping out trainsets to be inspected and shift changes we'd only be adding a train here or a train there. 

 

Besides if you arent firing half the people what's the point of OPTO you wont realize cost savings any other way.

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3 hours ago, kosciusko said:

The (MTA) doesn't exist to provide jobs. If a way is found to make save taxpayer money by laying off a significant amount of unnecessary workers  it should be done.

Those "unnecessary workers" pay taxes aswell. Those "unnecessary workers" are responsible for the safety of the customers on board that train along with the train operator.

I hope that "taxpayers" are as adament about reducing the ridiculous amount of spending that goes towards our military defense which no other country is even remotely close to, or the private prisons, etc...

 

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1 hour ago, Jsunflyguy said:

Besides if you arent firing half the people what's the point of OPTO you wont realize cost savings any other way.

If the (L) transition to OPTO is done at a time when trips are added in other locations, the jobs could possibly be redistributed instead of eliminated.

I could be wrong of course; I'm not really too familiar with these things.

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3 hours ago, Jchambers2120 said:

Those "unnecessary workers" pay taxes aswell. Those "unnecessary workers" are responsible for the safety of the customers on board that train along with the train operator.

Are you kidding. You can't be seriously implying that the amount of money a worker pays in taxes outweighs the cost of having him employed. Also if those workers are improving safety conditions then are not unnecessary. The importance of (L) train conductors has been stated in this thread.

6 hours ago, RailRunRob said:

The current (MTA) infrastructure isnt going to support full automation for quite sometime. Automation is coming we can't fight it. But workers aren't going anywhere for the next two decades at least  especially with a system with almost 7 million moving riders.

I suppose I wasn't clear in my post. I'm not advocating for the immediate termination of (L) train conductors because of the other reasons listed in this thread. Although I do support the eventual automation of the system and the pruning of unnecessary staff because the (MTA) spends too much money on employees.

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I wouldn’t support OPTO on the (L). Not with the huge crowds it gets or the design of the platforms in some of the stations. But then, I’m not in favor of OPTO on any of the non-shuttle lines for those reasons.

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue
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How much savings does OPTO allow being that OPTO T/O's get paid more?

How about using OPTO to provide more service? Like, Shorter trains more frequently? (outside of rush) 

For example, instead of a (R) rain every 10 mins, they can have a shorter OPTO (R) run every 5 mins. Same staff count, but more frequent service with the same amount of cars.

Edited by N6 Limited
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4 hours ago, P3F said:

If the (L) transition to OPTO is done at a time when trips are added in other locations, the jobs could possibly be redistributed instead of eliminated.

I could be wrong of course; I'm not really too familiar with these things.

You pull a consulting legal fiction: 

· Retrain conductors to be the equivalent to motormen/operators for other OPTO automated systems (like MARTA)

· Create a new job class for them with higher pay than current conductor rates

· In exchange for the higher rate, get a carve out that people hired to this class after a particular date earn a lower rate/wage because of diminished duties

· Existing Motormen/operators and elevated conductors are exempt from benefit reductions due to changes of duties until retirement or ending of employment.

 

That's how union shops end up with multi-tier wage scales due to business needs.

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2 hours ago, kosciusko said:

I suppose I wasn't clear in my post. I'm not advocating for the immediate termination of (L) train conductors because of the other reasons listed in this thread. Although I do support the eventual automation of the system and the pruning of unnecessary staff because the (MTA) spends too much money on employees.

I got you that's a given everything's going automation as I said you can't stop it. I'm just saying it's at least 20-25 years away.

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What kills me in this thread, is the fact that you'd almost think that the (L) is the only automated line in the world. Once PSDs are expanded, there is no reason to keep either motorman or conductor. 

Safety? Find a better argument. 

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28 minutes ago, LTA1992 said:

What kills me in this thread, is the fact that you'd almost think that the (L) is the only automated line in the world. Once PSDs are expanded, there is no reason to keep either motorman or conductor. 

Safety? Find a better argument. 

Seems like you're a proponent of self- evacuation. Good luck finding your way out of the Joralemon or Steinway tubes when the next blackout happens. I've experienced three in my lifetime as a passenger or an employee. Even if it's a run of the mill power outage in a localized situation NYPD and FDNY/EMS rely on the train crews on the scene. Maybe you're saying it's every man for himself ? Please elaborate.

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8 hours ago, Trainmaster5 said:

Seems like you're a proponent of self- evacuation. Good luck finding your way out of the Joralemon or Steinway tubes when the next blackout happens. I've experienced three in my lifetime as a passenger or an employee. Even if it's a run of the mill power outage in a localized situation NYPD and FDNY/EMS rely on the train crews on the scene. Maybe you're saying it's every man for himself ? Please elaborate.

Indeed. 1,400-1,800 people per train! There's going to be crew on train for quite some time.

Edited by RailRunRob

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Public Perception of Driverless Trains

Anna Fraszczyk, Philip Brown, Suyi Duan

Quote

Firstly, only 11 % of males and 14 % of females stated that they would prefer to use a traditional train with a driver rather than a driverless train or whatever train. This result shows that the majority of the respondents is not bothered about the train type they are using. Moreover, opinions about the driverless technology are very positive and rated as a ‘‘Very Good’’ or ‘‘Good’’ technology by the overwhelming majority of 93 % females and 72 % of males within the sample. This shows that in general the respondents are keen on UTO and they do not have a problem to trust the technology.

Secondly, the importance of a driver on a train was rated as ‘‘Important’’ or ‘‘Very Important’’ by the majority of the respondents who highlight the perception of a driver as an important component of the system. Moreover, over 50% of the sample agreed that there should be a driver’s room on the train, which in the case of a driverless technology is obviously not necessary.

Thirdly, despite many drivers’ trade unions campaigning against driverless trains, the results presented in the paper show that the majority of respondents (62 %) do not see the implementation of UTO as a thread to a driver’s job security. However, as there was no follow-up of the unemployment question, it is difficult to understand respondents’ reasons for being ‘‘for’’ or ‘‘against’’ the idea that driverless trains will affect train drivers’ employment.

Fourthly, the results revealed that the respondents overall are not worried about human error occurring on a driverless train. However, when looked into more detail, it appears that a technical failure and a staff communication issues are the two main areas of concern in relation to a human error on UTO.

Source: Fraszczyk, A., Brown, P. & Duan, S. Urban Rail Transit (2015) 1: 78. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40864-015-0019-4

 

How Self-Driving Trains May Impact the Transportation Industry

GTG Technology Group

Quote

Are Driverless Trains Safe?

Safety is the biggest concern relating to self-driving trains. After all, machines are not completely infallible. Many would-be passengers have expressed concerns about machine malfunctions and how they can be avoided. However, it can be argued that machines are less likely to make an error than a human. Making trains automated should help reduce user error and increase train safety.

Dubai was one of the first to implement automated driverless trains in their metro system. There were safety concerns, but Dubai has taken steps to ease passengers’ concerns. For example, one of the safety features Dubai has implemented is sealed doors on platform edges. These doors will only open when a train is present in the station. The trains are also regularly serviced and cleaned by personnel. Dubai went a step further and incorporated staff safety measures at the train depots, ensuring employees can service the trains safely.

Dubai’s driverless transit system is a safety success story. Having only one fault for every four million kilometers travelled has proven that self-driving trains are as reliable and safe as regular transit trains. These results are the reason Dubai’s Metro is one of the leading self-driving train systems in the world at the moment.

London also seems to think that driverless trains are safe enough to transport people. There are currently plans to implement high-tech driverless trains in the London Underground system. The city believes this is the solution to help handle the growing population of London. Since the trains can handle a greater capacity and have shorter intervals, this could be the solution London needs. Paris has already made the switch to self-driving trains for its transit system and has seen great success.

Originally, London had hoped to have the self-driving trains implemented sooner, but there were passenger and safety concerns that required pushing the implementation deadline back further. This should allow enough time for testing to ease the public’s fears. At this time, London hopes the trains will be ready for debut after 2020.

Copenhagen has also started using self-driving trains, and it’s possible the country’s railway passengers are safer because of it, due to the increased safety measures. One example of this is the laser technology that has been added to trains, making it impossible for someone to be killed if they fell or jumped in front of one of the trains. This beam will send a signal to the control system in the event someone steps or falls in front of the train.

Source: http://gtgtechnologygroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/How-Self-Driving-Trains-May-Impact-the-Transportation-Industry.pdf

Edited by CenSin
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1 hour ago, CenSin said:

Public Perception of Driverless Trains

Anna Fraszczyk, Philip Brown, Suyi Duan

Source: Fraszczyk, A., Brown, P. & Duan, S. Urban Rail Transit (2015) 1: 78. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40864-015-0019-4

 

How Self-Driving Trains May Impact the Transportation Industry

GTG Technology Group

Source: http://gtgtechnologygroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/How-Self-Driving-Trains-May-Impact-the-Transportation-Industry.pdf

I could definitely see some type of crew memember or new role being added on train. Can someone name a system worldwide that has NYC's ridership levels and no staff on train?

Edited by RailRunRob

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On 1/24/2018 at 11:19 PM, eaglestar said:

Hear hear! On the DC Metro, the time elapsed from the train stopping to the doors opening, particularly on a "doors left" platform, routinely runs anywhere from 3 to 10 seconds. Repeat for the door closing cycle, and you could easily see dwell times increase by 10 to 20 seconds at each station. Not that this will prevent OPTO, but it is a drawback. 

DC Metro was built with an ATO Start and E-brake button on portside door controls. The train will pull out of the station with the TO still standing port side looking out the port side window. Also for stopping, the operator will get out of the seat a few seconds before the train stops so he is standing at port side ready to hit door open when the train stops (DC metro ATO will stop at a designated point on the platform, but its designers never trusted the ATO system to open the door once stopped). Of course, due to deferred maintenance DC Metro abandoned its ATO system 10 years ago so that is not how DC Metro operators in 2018. Do the R143s have portside ATO start buttons or not?

 

WMATA 7000 series seems to be missing the ATO start button but it still has the port side ebrake button wmata-7000-series-23.jpg 

 

https://youtu.be/V24bpfrFxL4?t=190 2 seconds after doors close on left side it pulls out

https://youtu.be/xHvZcGef6zY?t=105 2 seconds after doors close on left side it pulls out

  

https://www.nycsubway.org/perl/show?54273

 

IIRC I think the ATO start button is taped over black in that picture between the door buttons.

 

Edited by bulk88
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Question.

So its been stated the the conductor is needed in order to ease the door control. But what about eliminating the motorman(hypothetically speaking of course)? Unless I have some flawed understanding of how CBTC works, the (L) train's speed is already governed automatically and the motorman has significantly less responsibilities. 

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45 minutes ago, kosciusko said:

Question.

So its been stated the the conductor is needed in order to ease the door control. But what about eliminating the motorman(hypothetically speaking of course)? Unless I have some flawed understanding of how CBTC works, the (L) train's speed is already governed automatically and the motorman has significantly less responsibilities. 

There is nothing to see obstacles then. A train would need some pretty advanced LIDAR system to stop for obstacles like people and debris.

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