Lifestyle, Opinions

Los Angeles and Orange County public transit is terrible, but autonomous vehicles may be the solution

A truck carrying a carnival ride crashed last week on Interstate 605 South, blocking every lane. Luckily no one was killed; however, myself and thousands of others saw our commute times massively extended. What should have taken me half-an-hour took an hour-and-a-half to get to campus. 

Long Beach State is a commuter school that is hard to commute to. Parking is a notorious issue and public transportation has grown more expensive and less convenient. Luckily, there is a solution on the horizon: autonomous vehicles.

Self-driving cars would reduce traffic, solve the parking problem and provide an inexpensive and safe way for students to get to and from campus.

While implementation is still a few years away, likely out of the realm of our time at CSULB, it is heartening to know that transportation won’t be a perpetual problem.

Rather than parking and taking up another spot on campus, students could either pay a small fee to commute via a self-driving car or have their own autonomous vehicle pick up other people to passively generate income.

It will also dramatically curtail accidents and deaths associated with poor driving. Car accidents kill tens of thousands of people every year and are the third leading cause of death in America.

Either way, the commute as we know it will soon be a thing of the past. Thank God.

It will also alleviate the notoriously bad Los Angeles area traffic. It’s telling that the tightly packed billboards in the city all mockingly reference the impacted highways and streets choked with cars.

LA lacks convenient public transport. San Francisco and New York both have inexpensive, speedy subway systems mitigating much of the problem, but not LA.

The bus system is confusing and time-consuming, and it is not feasible to implement a subway system. 

Elon Musk’s maligned tunnel system is a testament to how difficult public transit can be to implement. 

We don’t need years-long projects, what we need is to accelerate the timetable on autonomous vehicles.

Although improvements can be good in the short term, they will ultimately be rendered inconsequential once automation is in full swing.

Why hire more drivers when they will be let go in a few years? It’s cruel.

Without the need to hire drivers, cities will be able to add more lines making it more convenient for passengers.

There are legitimate concerns about automation, especially the elimination of driving jobs. 

Driving is the number one vocation for American men, and eliminating this would leave many hard-working people out of a job.

However, these growing pains are nothing new, technological progress will always result in a reorientation of the sorts of jobs people have. 

We are on the cusp of a fundamental shift in public transportation, roads will be clearer, searching for parking will be a thing of the why would we implement extensive projects to improve public transit? By the time they are finished, they will be redundant.

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