Is Our Investment In Light Rail Too Late?


Out in Kanata, QNX, a subsidiary of BlackBerry, is building and testing a driverless car.

Now Ottawa International Airport is investigating a driverless shuttle service between parking lots and its terminal.

The future is coming at us at break-neck speed.

In the 1980s, your agent saw his first personal computer, an Apple, and thought, “That will be a good word processor.” You could play pong on it.

Today the PC and mobile technology are putting huge swathes of the media out of business, changing the nature of labour through robotics and altering society and business in ways we could not possibly imagine in the 1980s.

The driver-less car is especially fascinating because it allows the privacy people crave in transportation with the possibility of controlling it in such a way that it makes maximum use of the already-created road infrastructure. It is a very enticing technology, especially for seniors and the handicapped.

And then we have Ottawa’s $6-billion first two phases of light rail. Old, extremely expensive transportation that could easily be overtaken by technology. It creates the possibility of businesses operating without offices or telecommuting or other developments we can’t even imagine today.

We’re putting a huge investment in light rail in this city. Let’s hope, because it is coming so late, that it is not out-dated by the time it is finished.


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One thought on “Is Our Investment In Light Rail Too Late?

  1. Technology is changing the world in which we live for sure. In fact, some of it even provides value.
    When we were young we watched the Jetsons and some of the things we saw onscreen have actually come to fruition, but not too many (I’m not flying my car from the sky into the living room yet). Not doing work for fear it will become outdated will have a negative impact on us now in terms of the speed at which we move (hey, that might be a good thing).
    For the one or two new ideas that succeed and create massive change there are probably eight or nine (guessing) that don’t. We have to keep the world we live in now in motion. Building roads, homes, even light rail keeps people employed and the economy strong. When vehicles that run on the ground are replaced by flying cars and our streets are empty they’ll be open for cyclists to use and that avenue for debate on The Bulldog will finally be gone. Hopefully.


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