What...? The problem with non-automated metros is the same! Either way, best practice is to have doors for safety. Several train stations in Tokyo have doors/gates, despite those lines having drivers. Meanwhile, Vancouver's automated metro has no gates protecting the tracks, but a generally good safety record nonetheless. The attendants are mainly there to deal with issues that gates wouldn't solve anyway: medical emergencies, confused passengers needing directions, drunk/violent passengers, etc.
The key benefit to not having doors is that you can use different train types and consists because the train doors don't have to line up with the platform doors. Platform doors also make future procurement of new trains potentially extremely expensive, because you're pretty much locked into buying a specific type of train.
The cost of replacing all of the doors in a single transit system would be equal to the cost of one or two trains worth of new cars. (They're very expensive.)
Also it means you need to shut down the entire line for a month or so while you replace the doors in all the stations. Shutting down one station is easier to pull off without losing riders. If tell everyone you are remodeling for a month and here are the buses, your customers will adjust for that month (getting to the station a little early...), but if you shut down the entire line the system doesn't work for most riders and they buy a car and quit riding.
In contrast, if you just want to double the frequency of trains, you just need to double the number of running trains. Doors/gates have nothing to do with that.
There are a couple of exceptions, but they are absurd and expensive so I doubt they apply. Maybe you bought too many trains in the first place and they are just sitting unused somewhere and you can use them. Or maybe you run the train, and then let it sit for a long time before turning it around and running again.
Stream CCTV footage from every platform to a control room. Have operators observe the arrival of every train, and have a big red emergency stop button for when people fall on the tracks.
In a big network, with say 300 stations with a train every 4 minutes in each direction on average, that works out to ~40 operators required to watch those cameras for 10 seconds during each train arrival.
Not-so-advanced image processing could be used to show only the train arrivals at the busiest platforms or where there was most recent movement on the track, bringing you down to 1 or 2 operators.
Thats a lot cheaper than both platform edge doors, and drivers in every train.
Nuremberg U-Bahn uses radar instead to monitor the tracks.
I don't know the cost differences between those approaches.
"On 30 October 2008, the first accident resulting in a death occurred at Rathenauplatz station. A passenger fell onto the track as a driverless train approached the platform. The train was unable to halt in time because of the short distance to the fallen passenger and limitations of its braking system. Even if the same incident had occurred with a manually operated train, the driver would not have been able to halt in time either."
from that page is completely without a source.
Maybe you decide automation isn't worth it, but you still want the doors, even if it means hiring someone to open them.
The above was also stated by one of the comments, but it is worth bringing up.
How about making a study, counting all metro stations noting whether they have platform screen doors, automation, and the year built. You'll very likely see there's a strong connection between automation and platform screen doors, but less so for the other variables.
Newer lines, like the new section of the Jubilee line have straight track and doors.
This is especially true in the context of self-driving cars, but might be true for Metro as well.
That is automated trains eliminate the "what if I have to work really late - how will I get home" problem.
I thought line 14 was stopped because of a strike some time ago but it was apparently just because of an incident, it might never have stopped because of a strike indeed. But that just means the employees that manage it don't strike.
That's the whole point.
All of these events need a fast response regardless of whether the hardware detects the problem and stops by itself or not, even if just to evacuate the people that are inside the stopped cars.
Train drivers (and aircraft pilots) have a bunch of special knowledge that isn't transferable and is safety critical. So when the person who is supposed to be doing the job isn't available you can't replace them in a timely fashion.
Automation often allows us to get rid of the specialisation, which makes those striking drivers replaceable, which makes striking less effective.
In the UK for example, my train from Southampton (on the South Coast) to London, has a crew of two people, a driver and a guard, both of whom need to be trained specifically in the exact model of train (let's say it's a 444 Electric Multiple Unit) and the exact route (in this case let's say the Wessex Mainline more or less direct from Southampton to London Waterloo)
If _either_ of those people aren't available, maybe they're on strike but maybe they have flu, that person must be replaced by someone with those two properties. A driver with 20 years experience driving an InterCity 125 on the ECML can't drive that train, but even a driver who has driven exactly the same train, but on the Portsmouth route, can't drive this train because they lack route knowledge. The guard, even though they don't drive the train, needs route knowledge just the same, because of the regulatory changes made in response to Ding-Ding And Away years ago.
Now, if instead these trains used ECTS level 2 automation, any driver, from anywhere in the ECTS system could safely operate that train, because it works the same everywhere. Doubtless local drivers might know a few little non-safety critical edge cases, and so a replacement driver from say, Germany, driving a train in Southampton would be a little slower, but the train doesn't need to be cancelled.
Contrast this with my job. Energy researcher. Let’s assume energy research is necessary. Odds are that in my career I won’t make a ground breaking discovery. So I get up drag myself to work knowing that most likely than not nothing I will do that day will mean anything to anyone.
Not to say that sanitation work shouldn’t be automated. But the lack of respect for ppl’s livelihoods commonly shown in HN, or in general neoliberal circles, is astonishing.
Most of the automated trash collection services haven’t automated much. They simply moved the responsibility of rolling the bins to the curb from the workers to the residents. Now it’s my job to wake up at 5am to move the bin to the street so the grappling arm can catch it. And then move it back to the house before 8am or get fined.
Of course the compensation and working hours aren't as good as the six figure office jobs most people here have but dealing with refuse is pretty decent compared to other jobs of similar pay.
Maybe the issue is the difference in my understanding of human potential. There is simply so much more to do for these people that I can't see why someone would want to forcefully hold onto old ways. Why would you force a person to spend all days in tunnels?
Technology for automated metro is there for many years. Not using it is foolish. If you don't like people losing jobs, simply take the savings and employ the people elsewhere in the city, e.g. as bus drivers.
You said that there was "so much more to do for these people" that doesn't "waste human potential" if only we didn't "force" them to do dreary metro jobs. I'm saying that if you take away their dreary metro jobs, most of them will just wind up in dreary non-metro jobs unless we have a better situation standing by ready to receive them, which we don't.
If you want to free people from a life of drudgery, you need to offer an alternative, not just lay off all the drudges.
Edit: Or are you specifically opposed to underground jobs, not bad jobs in general?
At a local grocery store they employ mentally handicap people to man the check out counters. They aren’t even aware that the automated counters make their jobs totally useless.
They are extremely slow at checkout.
And yet, I am very pleased with this grocery store because they’ve given a menial task to people who would otherwise have nothing. A chance to be in society and interact with us. Maybe, given the self checkout, it’s theater; but I don’t care. What’s the alternative for these people? Euthanasia? Do you see value in their lives?
Let's not do something like non-automatic metro because ... What? I still don't know a single reason other than "these are jobs and they are considered prestigious and well paid" which is not a reason to me, especially since people here would say it about nearly every job I could talk about. There is not that much jobs today we can automate as well as riding trains, so why not start there?
I would hate myself if I decided that it's a good idea to force a person, even if they're mentally incapable (that would make it worse, actually), to spend whole days in tunnels, having to mindlessly push a button, when there is a proven way to easily automate. I just don't know why would someone do such a crazy thing from my point of view?
Where automation really helps though is with _frequency_ of trains. If you have headways which are half as long (like in Vancouver on the Expo line the headways are every 90 seconds during peak periods) it makes a huge difference compared to something like SF's BART which has a weekday frequency of 15 minutes.
It also makes a massive difference when you're building a new line. If you can half the headway, you can half the size of the platform which makes building the line considerably cheaper. Less land to appropriate, less concrete to pour, less land to dig, etc.
There is one problem though. If you build a super convenient metro system with trains every minute or two, people will start to use that system. A lot. Vancouver's system is running into problems (particularly on the Canada Line) with massive overcrowding because even with the high frequency of trains, there's just not enough capacity.
Trains require large headway (gaps between trains, like following distance in a car) for safety reasons. This limits the number of trains you can run on a line. Which places a natural limit on the number of drivers you need.
Instead, you scale up passenger throughput by adding cars to trains. When you do this, you scale up capacity independent of number of drivers. Sort of a marginal cost of zero.
Another efficiency question, though, is bang for the buck. Trains are expensive to build. Headway limits the number of trains, and you can't make trains longer than the platform length. So you hit kind of a brick wall of scalability.
So it's worth asking whether automation could let you squeeze more return out of your investment in building the train line. Maybe it would unlock capacity increases through reduced headway. Or maybe some other way. I think it's an open question how much this can help, though.
People falling on the metro line (intentionally or not) is a real issue, and, aside from the obvious immediate consequence to the body integrity of the person that fell, it also yield a significant cost.
It is become increasingly common to put those type of protective pane even on non automated metro lines. I saw them in Paris and Barcelona for example.
Might be too late for anyone to see this...