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Old May 20 2013, 11:23 AM   #70
Re: Would you use a transporter?

Timo wrote: View Post
There are many reasons why people buy cars. Having already made the decision to buy one, comfort is, however, a reason people choose one model over another.
But more fundamentally, comfort is the only reason to buy a car over some alternate means of motion, as it cannot do anything more, or more efficiently or affordably or faster, than a suitable combination of the alternatives - it can merely do it more comfortably (including the comfort of providing a compromise package of features from all the possible alternatives).
Are you kidding me? Driving from your place to somewhere else is going to be nearly always faster than public transport, walking or cycling.

And faster than walking or riding a bike.
Not always. But the point is, you don't need to ride a bike or have a car because the transporter covers those niches already. In fact, it covers all possible niches - the exact same reason people buy cars today, rather than a combination of train, ship and aircraft tickets, bikes and wheelbarrows.
Now you are contradicting yourself. You just said that a car "cannot do anything more, or more efficiently or affordably or faster, than a suitable combination of the alternatives..." and yet now you are saying that a car can sometimes be faster than a bike?

Anyway, I love this "A car is not always faster than a bike" thing. You commute ten kilometers to work on a bike, then try it in a car, and then tell me which one is faster.

Nothing in the movie suggests it would have been anything else. A high-ranking person is the only passenger, with servants, and parks in a lot for the privileged.
I assume you mean that woman behind him in the thing was his servant. Which explains why she doesn't follow Kirk at all, of course. Why would Kirk's servant actually stay with Kirk? [/sarcasm]You're just guessing. The fact is that we see another person in the tram with Kirk, and there is nothing to indicate that she is anything more than just another passenger. She doesn't talk to Kirk, or follow Kirk or anything - and surely, if she was his assistant, she would, seeing as how Kirk was on his way to a very important meeting.

And also notice the two other air trams that were already there? If this is a limo service, then it's awfully busy. Perhaps Starfleet routinely hires limos for its officers to get around on Earth.

I don't see that you have any justification for saying that people in Star Trek don't care about energy efficiency.
I just provided it. Perhaps they care - but clearly not enough to prevent transporting, or else they wouldn't replicate, either.
No you didn't. You just guessed.

We handle it just fine today.
No, we don't. We destroy cities with it, we destroy planets with it, and still we don't get the comfort we sought when paying for it; instead, we get traffic jams, breakdowns and fuel expenses.
Yes, I'm sure that Star Trek still uses fossil fuels and has poor traffic management. Hell, we're going to have computer controlled cars that drive themselves in a few decades at most. Is it that hard to believe that such technology exists in Star trek too? So where are the pollutants and the traffic jams that will cause all these problems that can only, according to you, be fixed by transporters?

Here's an example. I work on the trains in Sydney. Each train has 8 carriages and can hold in total about a thousand people, which is quite common in peak hour. A train every five minutes on a platform, and that gives you 5000 people in an hour on a platform. Now, add to that the fact that you have many different platforms (at Sydney's Central Station, there are 25 platforms, but only ten of them are suburban platforms that have the trains coming and going that often). So, that can give you about 50,000 passengers an hour on those ten platforms. The furthest the suburban trains come from is about an hour's travel, so let's say the average commute time is 30 minutes.

Let's say we replace all that with transporters. A transporter cycle takes 6 seconds, if I remember correctly. Add in time it takes to get on the pad, tell the operator where you are going and all that, let's say it takes 15 seconds (which I think is quite generous, it would probably take longer). So that means that with one pad, you can beam four people each minute. If we assume that the transporters are like the ones on the ships, you get six people at a time (let's not quibble about whether they are all going to the same place or not), so in one transporter room, you can beam 24 people a minute.

Now, according to my calculations, to beam the full 50,000 passengers Central gets an hour with one transporter room would take more than 2000 minutes (2083 minutes and 20 seconds, actually). To keep up with the flow at Central, you'd need to beam 833 people per minute, which comes out to 35 transporter rooms like the ones on the Enterprise. That's 35 transporter rooms, each beaming six people every 15 seconds, non stop for a whole hour.

And that's just one station.

It seems obvious to me that more conventional forms of public transport would be more efficient.

If we got something better (and the transporter is so much better people would kill for it today), we'd ditch vehicles in a heartbeat. And we know that at least our immediate heroes did: they beam home for dinner, they beam in furniture when moving...
Well, working on starships, they're in a privledged position, aren't they? And let's not forget that when Ben beamed home for dinner, he used up his transporter priveldgeds very quickly, so it sounds like transporters aren't the "use them whenever you want" thing that you make them out to be. And beaming in furniture does make sense, because it removes the risk of damage as you bring them in through narrow doors, or up stairs etc. But that's not public transport, is it?
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