In San Francisco, a city notorious for its traffic problems, the authorities hope that many motorists will be persuaded to leave their cars at home when a new transport system comes into operation on September 11.
In San Francisco, a city notorious for its traffic problems, the authorities hope that many motorists will be persuaded to leave their cars at home when a new transport system comes into operation on September 11. It's fully automated train service which has cost nearly six hundred million pounds. The system will be entirely run by computers, which can direct the movements of a hundred trains at once. The city hopes the new trains will appeal to motorists by providing them with direct transport throughout the metropolis at speeds of up to eighty miles an hour, and the carriages have been designed to offer quiet, comfortable surroundings in contrast to the city's fume-laden streets.
SYNOPSIS: San Francisco has one the world's worst traffic problems - but city authorities hope they'll soon be over.
A new transport system is the answer - and it's an answer that's cost about six hundred million pounds. The city authorities hope they'll persuade thousands of motorists to leave their cars at home and travel across the city by train at speeds of up to eighty miles an hour. The new transport system is said to be the fastest internal network in the world -- as well as the biggest and most expensive ever built at one time. It's an example of adopting space-age techniques to improving travel on the ground.
The whole transport network is computer-operated, and human operations will only step in if there's a breakdown. Engineers say the computer can handle the movements of a hundred trains at a time. To make the new system attractive to motorists the accent is on internal comfort and quiet as well as a smooth ride - quite a contrast to San Francisco's crowded streets.
And it's not only the trains which are automated - the whole enterprise right to the ticket barrier has been designed for automatic operation. In fact, the staff anticipate their busiest job will be answering questions at the special information booths.
The only trouble is - there were fears that the computer might not be working probably. But as the high-speed trains were put through their paces before the opening day they seemed to be running smoothly enough.