Unionists are up in arms today after a report showed Transport for London (TfL) investigated new technologies that would have led to job cuts. The report, leaked by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMT), is a strategy discussion of driverless Tube trains and a 'wave and pay' ticketing system that would let commuters use …
Surely this is only on the Jubilee Line extension? Or have they installed doors on the platform on the whole line now?
My understanding was that you can only go driverless when they have doors on the platform to match up with the doors on the trains (a bit like driverless lifts that everyone seems to think have been ok for ages!)
Driver sits in the front and
reads his paper.
The DLR doesn't have doors on the platform, and is driverless. The train captain does close the doors and press the button to send the train on its way to the next station.
The real issue...
...is I can read this entire article, and get halfway down the comment thread before discovering there's such a job as "train captain"?
Where do I apply???!?
Call me cynical, but.....
Nice leak. And when the real plan is revealed everyone will heave a sigh of relief when it is shown to be not quite as "bad" as this one.
It seems Bob Crow has his own 'reality distortion field'. How reducing operational costs by 20% would mean a massive fare hike is beyond me. Holding the country to ransom every time he wants a new conservatory by striking for more money "for the drivers", however, definitely DOES lead to increased fares. I despise this snivelling little man, and all he stands for. I wish I got paid as much for my technically demanding job as the pastie-munching tube drivers did for sitting on their rears pushing the same button all day long. the sooner we bring in automated services, the better.
How much could they save?
Well said. 1,500 drivers with an average salary of £46,000 (say the BBC)... that'd be £69 million per year that TfL could redistribute. Fair enough, some of it could be usefully spent on more visible and helpful staff, but the rest would make a good contribution towards paying for full automation on the lines which already support it. The numbers look very inviting when you imagine the savings over 10 years or more.
Of course, it's a long shopping list of things to improve: aircon, more trains (or just more trains per hour), Oyster cards that don't spontaneously lose their data...
plus guaranteed pay rise until 2015 (at least)
And don't forget the 5%+ pay rise they are guaranteed each year until 2015:
Protecting the jobs and pay for the workers is the primary concern for any union, but milk it too much (especially from public funds) and they'll go they same route as the dockers and miners.
It works in France and I'd be more inclined to say the Union has brought this on themselves with their absolutely ridiculous driver-wage demands.
The day Bob Crow's union ceases to exist
I will dance a jig, open a bottle of champagne, and throw a party.
If you take the 'union' out of the title, I think I'd reach a state of zen-like happiness and contentment so *perfect* that everyone within a mile radius would experience a sense of well-being and love towards their fellow man (or woman). Then I'd get utterly trollied. I'm generally pretty mild-mannered, but that man is a anachronistic f*ckwit.
I believe the word you're looking for is:
Crikey! Or possibly Yikes!
When Mayor Boris got off his bike to chase off some muggers a couple of years ago, his reported words were. "Clear off you Oiks!"
That man is down with da kidz and well street innit...
Bob Crow is funamentaly unable to understand reality and has probably sped up the move to this technology.
Trains will still be staffed, its just they will have a steward rather then a driver. And the Steward wont be on £50k+ (which is an amazing salary for 4 days a week in an unskilled job) and wont be able blackmail the people they are meant to serve.
The union seem to think any job loss is unacceptable, but doesn't count new jobs in their analysis.
Take the ticket offices for example. They rage at "job losses" but are they counting all the people who work for Oyster, from techies to call centres operatives, as new jobs? I think not.
It is natural progression. In the 60's you had ticket officers at each station and drivers. In this century we have / will have / should have train stewards and electronic ticketing.
At a rough guess, these people in new positions are not its members. And in the case of contracted out call centres, possibly not in a union at all.
You can absolutely bet the techies and management aren't.
Few correction to this 'report'...
1. Bob Crow is a moron. Though I'd say that first despite it being obvious.
2. Mike Brown isn't so clever, either. What he failed to point out is that this isn't even a 'real' document. The title page, and the document codes, make that perfectly clear. It is a document used to train managers (pardon the pun). It's is used to stimutlate thinking in one of the management training courses run at the training center.
3. Bob Crow is a moron. I hate to labour a point, but its important so I though I'd say it twice.
Some tube driver is going to put down his jaz mag and spring to my defense if someone has a go at me on the viccy line!
The only people mugging us on the tube ARE the RMT.
I'd say the mere fact "Crowbar" opposes it is endorsement enough to want it implemented ASAP - needless to say, the reason he's afraid of it is the same reason the rest of us should be delighted: it disarms him at last, no more holding us all to ransom with threats to disable our transport infrastructure every time he throws a tantrum or wants an even bigger raise.
Quite how the overpaid buffoon things the financial savings from eliminating his army of overpaid button-pushers would INCREASE fares ... well, nobody ever claimed button-pushing required any skills, which is why it's absurd for them to be paid so much more than the minimum wage their unskilled non-essential job is worth.
He's not just overpaid, but subsidised publically too...
BTW , how many days paid annual leave do tube drivers get now, has it reached 50 yet?
Bob Crow says
"This document tells us everything we need to know about the operational strategy of London Underground - massive increase in fares alongside an unprecedented attack on jobs and safety"
Perhaps massive increases wouldn't have been necessary if the unioners didn't get plush raises when the rest of us are lucky if we get 2% pa?
RMT - you've made your unsustainable bed.
so your complaint is...
...that people who have the gumption to organize a union get treated better by their employer than people who don't, viz, you?
this is true. the bit that gobsmacks me is that the neoliberals have succeeded to such an extent in convincing people that the natural extension of this argument isn't 'well, maybe we should form a union too' but 'boo! unions suck! let's drag the bastards down to our minimum wage level!'
to put it another way, lots of people seem to be more willing to be jealous of those who earn three times as much as they do for a vaguely honest day's work, than they are to be jealous of those who earn 1,000 times as much for showing up for two hours and firing a hundred people between rounds of golf.
I mean, it's an amazing intellectual achievement, if you look at it dispassionately. if only we could harbour this amazing ability to get people to look past their own self-interest to some kind of better end...
Next Step: Automate the work of the redundant Signallers
The all-powerful signallers have keps their tube signalling dumbed down at 1960's continuous-band punch-card & clockwork technology to keep themselves in a cushy job where they spend all day doing... uhm.. watching these clever little machines.
This is not the signallers' doing, but rather a reflection of the underinvestment in the network over the years.
However, change is coming with a move to ATO (automatic train operation) in sight: Jubilee line already done, Northern in progress and contracts let for all of the sub-surface lines (District, Circle & Hammersmith and Metropolitan). In its wake will certainly be job losses amongst signallers and maintenance staff as there we a great deal less of either to do.
However, 1960's electromechanical technology on London Ungerground pails into insignificance against the 1000 or more manual signal boxes remaining on Network Rail. They have a rolling plan of abolishing almost all of them in the next decade or so with resignalling schemes. As part of this plan lots of medium sized signalling centres will go as well, leaving 13 regional signalling centres in total. Lots and Lots of jobs will be eliminated there.
That should be interesting and costly
Its no surprise that there are 1000 manual signal boxes on the NR network.
In Cornwall alone I can count at least five mechanical signal boxes (Liskeard, Lostwithiel, Par, Truro, St Erth) still in existence and controlling mainline and branch movements. They're almost every other station. Some movements governed by Train crew operated ground frames and tokens (I'm thinking Looe branch line for one).
These all have ground frames (the big mechanical levers we associate with manual signal boxes) and have usually been upgraded to run the Colour Light Signalling on the line that the box controlls but is too far from the box to be run with mechanical wires and pullys. These distant signals are usually as a result of an smaller intermediate signal box being closed and its responsibilities moved to the remaining larger box along the line.
Travelling West (down) the last full power signal box is Plymouth North Road AFAIK.
I only hope that they don't use this as an excuse to close lines because they're not economic to upgrade from ground frame to power signal box. It'll also be sad to see the semaphore signals disappear from Cornwall - they give the railway a kinda quaint feel :)
a sign they're moving towards what we've been mentioning at home for the last few years. What - people made unemployed? No, tube trains running, independent of a tiny group of (...) who hold a good few million people to ransom. All that talk about "endangering passangers' lives" from the union is bullshit I hear every time there is a threat to their cushioned stools.. And the drivers in particular are paid a ridiculous amount of money for what is essentially a pretty simple job (never seen any one of them try to demonstrate in the media they're worth this money). So every so often they decide they are not paid enough already, or that some of their abusive and drinking work mates have been wronged by being kicked out of their cushy jobs - and they walk out and the whole f... city grinds to a halt. And every time they do that, they get a pat on their head, the pay rise, the mates reinstated. I will gladly quote to them: "Cemetaries are full of indispensable people". Your time is up, and it's mainly your own doing.
To counterbalance, in case they do manage to kick them out and run automated trains (and there will be a lot of fighting before they manage to do that), - I don't expect any lower ticket prices, nosir. This never happens, they will "invest the resources into the network". Yeah, right. But at least the trains will be running. Until their system gets hacked and all of them head south, to Costa Riviera, or something.
Turn all staff into customer service reps?
That would make a nice change from the usual rude and unhelpful attitude that the TfL grunts show.
Overpaid, under-worked drivers finally replaced my machines.
Re: all those mentioning France...
Yes, indeed. Here in Lille (well, just outside Lille, butnevermindthat), we have a driver-less rubber-tyre metro (actually the first of its type in the world). The trains run once a minute during rush hour, less often at weekends and evenings. The cost? Any single journey costs 1.40€, or 0.70€-ish for up to three stops. Little bundles of ten tickets are less than ten times that price, and season tickets are available for 48€ a month, 46€ a month if you get them on direct debit (where they arrive in the post on or just after the 25th of the month). And the season tickets also give unlimited use of the buses and trams.
And we have no Bob Crow either.
And don't forget that removing the RMT from the cabs of Tube trains won't end your travel woes, as the maintenance crews over most of the Tube are also RMT staff...
DTG-R is already driverless
Pressing a button to change modes to automatic does not count as driving.
Computers drive better than humans when programmed properly. The technical challenge to get more trains within the headway requirements can only be met by a computer with an absolute focus on driving hard all the time. This might make the passenger humans sick however, so the driver tends to be MUCH more gentle with throttle and brake, especially on the run into a station, which is where the most headway gains are to be had. Computers dont care.
Trained monkey up front, to press big red stop in failure conditions that cant be anticipated by the computer systems. Trained monkey does not need to be trained driver.
Ergo, Trained Drivers and their large wage packets are a dying breed.
Sorry Bob, but change happens.
AC, because obviously I know something about this stuff and it's a small industry
Seems like a reasonable excuse to big up The Amature Transplants classic:
Oi Crow, just F*** OFF, seriously you're an idiot.
Best thing I've heard in a long time.
Getting rid of jobs that form part of an inefficient process and replacing some or all of them with jobs that form part of a more efficient process is called economic growth.
On the whole it's a pretty good thing.
Oh, and yes, I have been 'downsized' myself. Redundancy payments are quite nice.
Its only economic growth if the savings are spent on buying new services, such as air con etc not on bonuses to management for cutting costs.
And if the redundant staff struggle to find work it will be the dear old tax payer who'll be paying their job seeker allowance, housing benefit and, eventually, pension credits.
We used to have drivers on elevators as well. Progress happens. Deal with it.
Tube and TFL staff are over paid. Fare prices need to come down. Cheapest single fair is around 20p in Hong King, price of a Hong Kong can of Cola!
Driverless trains yes as well as centralising upper management. In addition to residential and commercial development and use rental income to reduce fares. Not sure if TFL is the landlord of the Westfield Stratford shopping centre. If not, it's a missed opportunity!
More advertising income, why not have "TFL Radio" on buses/carriages? More LCD screens running adverts etc.?
Title should be Luddite moans about progress
A move to automation and an increase in platform and customer service staff would be very welcome on the underground, especially in the later evenings when the inebriated are in full effect.
Bob Crow knows if he loses the drivers he loses almost all his power as without the meatsacks at the wheel he cant shut the service down as easily.
Bob Crow is the elected leader of the RMT. The members of which have joined voluntarily (closed shops have long been abolished) and pay their sub's to remain members. Plus, if those members are unhappy with the RMT they can vote with their feet and leave, or join ASLEF instead.
Bob Crowe was voted in to protect and improve his members conditions of employment, something which he has exceled at and explains why he has been re-elected.
So with that in mind, how do you expect him to re-act to any suggestion that his members lose their jobs?
If it pisses-off Bob Crow it's good for me.
Perhaps the Moorgate crash would not have happened with a driverless system to make, erm, human error?
While I agree with your initial sentiment, the crash at Moorgate is only presumed to have been caused by the driver and it was about thirty years ago.
So the days of getting £57k for pushing a lever and being surly to passengers is coming to an end is it?
Who'd have thought it?
Nice work Bob, still I'm sure your mates have a nice job lined-up for you.
Retire now you dinosaur and do the working people of the capital an early xmas present.
I have a vivid memory from the age of about eight of visiting the London transport museum, where they had a simulation of driving a tube train, using real controls hooked up to an Amiga A3000. I had a couple of goes but it wasn't really enough to hold my attention for more than three minutes (accelerate and brake were a little less interaction than I was used to).
I'm sure £46k would have helped maintain this concentration a while longer, but I think it might have been a better idea to get the A3000 to drive the train instead. Or maybe employ a four year old who was more easily amused.
Get it done and axe the lot of them - then if they go on strike why do we care? It'll just make sacking them easier. The RMT has caused more disruption to London and the rest of the UK than any terror organisation ever has.
If the US military can fly a drone remotely and drop bombs on some hostile country then why can't London tube trains be piloted remotely?
Drivers could then live in some cheaper region of the country where they don't need to be earning mega-bucks to afford to live in the capital.
Bring it on
Serve them right for striking all the time. It no wonder their drivers are on £40k. Being able to cripple London until the management gives in to their demands.
Agreed - they're one of the most loathsome special interest groups in london. They strike for money, they strike for benefits, they strike when the weather turns nice and they fancy a few days off, they strike because one of the mice running round the stations looked at them funny.
Union is pissed that they lose leverage?
Let's be frank here.... you have a bunch of losers who are pissed that they are so incredibly useless that they are being replaced by computers? A single operator in a central location with emergency override controls can replace and entire operating fleet of tube train drivers.
Should the union be pissed? Well of course... it means a lot less union dues. It means that the entire tube system can likely be operated without union labor at all. It means that a huge number of useless people will be out of work with no qualifications beyond those similar to Homer Simpson that have been overpaid for years no will need to find jobs that will support their standard of living... which is sit on their ass all day, then sit on their ass all night.
London has LOTS of public restrooms and floors that need to be cleaned. Last time I tried using a "self cleaning toilet" on high street, it was disgustingly dirty. There are certainly more useful places to employee these people within the city.
There haven't been drivers for a long time on London Underground they have been called train Operators for a long time. The Jubilee line signalling systems as also planned for Northern and Piccadilly in the future are based on the same signalling system as the DLR, so they are designed to be operator free today. Another post noted the automated status of the Vic line although this may well be further away today than it was in 1967.
I do wonder why the jubilee line is now so jerky, since the upgrade. The trains never settle at a steady sped but speed up and down as if someone is trying to match a target speed which is always changing as the movement of trains infront effects the energy and safety distance calculations. So I can't work out if we would be better off with signals or no operators.
Tube drivers aren't all that well skilled, yet get paid disproportionately well. Take for example the Waterloo and City line - surely the simplest there can be. Trains leave waterloo, the driver has a crazed look in his eye as he 'floors' it to try and get the wheels to bounce off the track. Because he's gone too fast, he then has to stop just outside the station to wait for the platform to become available.
Surely, if these drivers were so oh-my-god-they're-great-we-can't-live-without-them, they'd be able to figure out that going 5mph *slower* would actually get them there faster?
As for Bob Crow, 145K/year is all you need to know.
I think this comes under the category of:
"Go away before I replace your job with a very small shell script."
£50k PA for a tube drivers job?
How many of you are above that?
Did you ever consider perhaps you were in the wrong job (at least temporarily)?