Remember, SIEMENS and VEOLA global corporations got their starts during WW 2 serving the needs of Hitler's fascism----the original owners were NOT driven with good intentions and fast-forward several decades of global growth---these now multi-national corporations STILL do not have good intentions for the 99% regardless of white, black, or brown. All fascism whether Hitler, Stalin, Mao is based on a very small group of people seeing themselves as WINNERS.
When we talked of global online banking eliminating Wall Street and America's entire financial structure as ending sovereignty and any control of 99% of citizens regarding money and wealth accumulation---these global banking families are tied to these same SIEMENS AND VEOLA.
Do WE THE PEOPLE know a global IVY LEAGUE university like Johns Hopkins has clawed so much revenue these few decades to itself that HOPKINS has its own transportation corporation........so, Siemens is today that global corporation with so many subsidiaries that they control all aspects of global development projects.......our Baltimore - based UNDERARMOUR is trying to do the same here in Baltimore..........
Here is today's SIEMENS-----ELON MUSK allowed to be tied to all that is current transportation because of the goals of ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE SMART CITIES transportation.
'SIEMENS TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS, INC.
There are 27 companies that go by the name of Siemens Transportation Systems, Inc..
These companies are located in Baltimore MD, Baton Rouge LA, Bingham Farms MI, Boston MA, Buffalo Grove IL, Carson City NV, Chicago IL, Clayton MO, Des Moines IA, Glen Allen VA, Houston TX, Iselin NJ, Los Angeles CA, Midvale UT, Mpls MN, New York NY, Olympia WA, Phoenix AZ, Providence RI, Raleigh NC, Sacramento CA, Salem OR, and Wilmington DE'.
Here we see global Wall Street 1% Rahm Emmanuel using Chicago for the first stage of ONE WORLD ONLY THE GLOBAL 1% MOVE FREELY.
Our airports were made several decades ago into FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES setting the stage for foreign airlines arriving at US airport terminals. That was not a bad thing----but that designation has slowly been expanded to break down all US Rule of Law and citizens' protections especially for our workers in AIR MALL businesses. There are two goals for MUSK and EMMANUEL working for global 1%-----this underground rail from Chicago to airport will move global 1% and their 2% completely free from what exists above ground. The second goal is tying driverless technology to these high-speed rail bringing billions of dollars to ELON MUSK ET AL.
Elon Musk's Chicago Tunnel Makes a Dumb Idea Even Dumber
Chicago Transit Authority train.
Plamen Petrov/Getty Images
Who can blame Chicago for wanting a little piece of Elon Musk? The guy and his proverbial Mary Poppins handbag of ideas are having a good run. Customers clamor to plunk down $1,000 deposits for Tesla’s unreleased Model 3. SpaceX rockets are returning to Earth like they like it here. Cities all over the world are competing for the opportunity to host the first hyperloop.
So you can see why Windy City Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in preliminary talks to have Musk’s latest venture, the Boring Company, tunnel a new high-speed rail line between downtown and O’Hare International Airport. He's hoping to fund the whole thing through private investment. (A Musk representative confirmed the meeting between Muskovites and Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, and the city of Chicago didn't respond to a request for comment.)
You've got a bunch of reasons to be skeptical about the Boring Company as a whole. Musk’s belief that he can speed up tunneling technology by at least a factor of 14 is, perhaps, a stretch. (“I would put what Mr. Musk is saying today in the bullshit category,” Thom Neff, a civil engineer, told WIRED in April.) And no matter how fast they're dug, tunnels are unlikely to reduce traffic.
If you trust Musk anyway, you still shouldn't want him tunneling around O'Hare. You don't want anyone trying it. That's because express services between downtown cores and airports tend to be expensive, wasteful, and of limited use to all but the wealthiest travelers.
“When relatively fortunate people get together and start talking to each other about their own tastes, they can design something that’s very specialized to their own tastes that turns out not to work as mass transit,” says Jarrett Walker, a transit planner and consultant. “There turns out to not be enough people with those tastes.”
Plus, Chicago already has a public transit airport connection, albeit a pokey one: The Blue Line, part of the city's broader L system, takes riders from downtown to O’Hare in less than 45 minutes. A high-speed rail setup would cut the journey by a measly 20 minutes. And so it violates the basic rules of transit, which demand: Before you pour millions into pouring concrete, make sure you're building a system that is fast, frequent, and serves as many people as possible, especially those who don't have access to other transportation options.
Before bringing in Musk, Chicago should look at other cities that have invested in transfer-free airport train service with decidedly mixed results. A seat on Toronto’s Pearson Airport connector, completed in 2015, costs $18 more than a ride on the rest of the system, and just 8 percent of the airport’s passengers use transit to travel to Pearson. (That figure includes bus riders, too.) When Shanghai’s express airport maglev service opened in 2007, it operated at 20 percent capacity. A $484 million Oakland, California airport connector lost $70 million in federal funding when the government determined it did not sufficiently serve low-income and minority communities.
OK, an international example: London’s Heathrow Express transports roughly 8 percent of the airport's daily passengers, and competes with the Underground, which also stops at Heathrow and connects to the wider network. (This Piccadilly Line option is also $20 dollars cheaper.)
That last example gets to the biggest problem with airport express service: connectivity. “It’s nice to be able to provide a very fast service to downtown, but for a lot of other people, they’re going somewhere else in the city,” says Andrew Goetz, a geographer with the University of Denver who has studied airport-rail connections. “You want to be able to have connections to other places."
Connectivity is especially useful for the folks most likely to use airport transit on the regular—airport employees. These workers might not be able to afford the tolls associated with (and I'm just spitballing here) a complex tunnel system carrying personal cars on electric sleds.
“Because lots of people imagine they will use an airport train, political support for transit to the airport is way out ahead of potential ridership,” says Walker. “If you want actual ridership to the airport, you have to care about the airport employees.”
Which is all to say: Oh, Elon. Someday, we may live at the mercy of your Mars colony selection process. In the meantime, please be thoughtful before signing onto any express airport scheme. Make sure your system connects to the street grid and bus network and bike share. That goes for you too, Rahm Emanuel, you who have hired an exec expressly to get this high-speed idea off the ground.
That goes for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, too, who wants to spend $450 million on a LaGuardia Airport connector as the city's subway flounders. And for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has expressed support for the Boring Company’s ambitions as recently as last week. (Musk said he had completed the first segment of his LA proto-tunnel yesterday, although it's unclear what that entails, and a rep declined to comment on whether the company has hired geotechnical engineers for the project.)
Be skeptical, too, of Chicago’s promises that any contractor—Boring Company included—will pay for this tunnel’s construction and maintenance all on its lonesome. Public transportation construction and operations are rarely profitable, says David Levinson, a transportation engineer at the University of Sydney. “There’s no way fares will cover the capital costs of a tunnel," he says. "If you made everyone take this train, maybe.”
Enthusiasm for new public transit infrastructure is a good thing, but exuberance is no excuse for pumping money and effort into fancy-sounding projects unlikely to produce results.
It's only DUMBER if one thinks there is a public interest to global Wall Street control of new infrastructure development in our US cities. What global 1% want is a completely protected movement of a global 1% while 99% of citizens are CONTAINED on these global corporate campuses and global factories.
A US city center filled with those global 1% and their 2% executives doing business in a Chicago or Baltimore need to move quickly and covertly while the masses are kept at bay in surrounding Greater Chicago or Greater Baltimore. Remember, today's US middle-class is that RABBLE OF MASSES.
'Elon Musk's Chicago Tunnel Makes a Dumb Idea Even Dumber'
Over these few decades global VEOLA and a few other global transportation corporations were given transport to and from airports replacing what was a state public transit system and we of course have watched as global labor pool citizens were brought to work this system and of course they have been shouting they are enslaved by this privatization. So, the reference to POKEY refers to this non-functioning state privatized structure. Maryland was early in moving global VEOLA to much of our state MTA structure especially our airports. Watch for these same policy discussions coming to all US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES like Baltimore to BWI.
Maryland has these same rail transportation development policies ---they are simply being hidden in all that LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE POSING pretending these transit plans are PUBLIC INTEREST AND GREEN.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also showed interest in the project and considering Musk lives in LA and he has often complained about the traffic in the city, it makes sense for him to focus on the region
WHAT IS THE RED LINE REALLY MEANT TO BE IF NOT LIGHT RAIL?
WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% must move away from thinking far-right wing global Wall Street is planning to rebuild our strong public transit----they are NOT. These Foreign Economic Zones filled with global factories and global labor pool are not livable and these global 1% are planning to keep the global rich from experiencing third world colonial America. The rates for transit in these high-speed rail will look affordable at first and very quickly become sky-high.
Chicago is considering Elon Musk’s tunnel boring company for a high-speed rail under the city
- Jun. 27th 2017 4:09 pm ET
While Elon Musk’s Boring Company is currently focused on developing its tunnel boring technology in order to improve traffic in Los Angeles, there are apparently other cities interested.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel revealed today that he has been talking with Musk about partnering with the Boring Company for a high-speed rail under the city.
Chicago Tribune reported on the talks:
“On Monday, Emanuel described the discussions as preliminary, but said he plans to have Musk’s team here to see if digging a rail line makes more sense than other possibilities like using an existing railroad right-of-way or double-decking the CTA Blue Line to speed travelers to and from the airport.”
In April, Musk’s new startup took delivery of their first boring machine and started digging in the parking lot of SpaceX’s headquarters.
Emanuel said that they sent a team to look at what they are doing:
“The other day, because of contact I’ve had with Elon Musk and his operation for a kind of a tunnel project rather than an existing rail project to be taken over, I sent a team out to look at his tunnel digger as part of this project. He has expressed an interest in what Chicago’s doing. And I think that it would be a tremendous investment and job creator, an economic engine for the city that will pay dividends for decades ahead. They have shown interest, and now I’ve asked them to come to the city of Chicago, after I sent my team out to California, Southern California to explore it and explore their interest. They are very interested, and we’re going to have them now out to the city to explore further what we are doing and planning, and too see if the tunnel approach is an alternative to the ones we’ve been discussing.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also showed interest in the project and considering Musk lives in LA and he has often complained about the traffic in the city, it makes sense for him to focus on the region.
But if they are successful in reducing the cost of tunnel boring, they could apply the vision for creating vast networks of tunnels with electric rails and reduce overall traffic in several major metropolitan areas.
Where else do you see horrible traffic that could benefit from Musk’s vision for networks of tunnels? Let us know in the comment section below.
Is Elon Musk a genius of design? NO, FOR GOODNESS SAKE these development plans have existed since MOVING FORWARD REAGAN /CLINTON 1980s/1990s
Baltimore had a tunnel collapse a few years ago from a complete lack of tunnel maintenance by Baltimore City and CSX. Here we see more concerns of citizens in communities across Greater Baltimore. What citizens are not piecing together is the goal of all of what is surrounding communities being totally INDUSTRIAL. There will be no CANTON----FELLS POINT----FEDERAL HILL---LOCUST POINT that is residential except for global factory dormitories for global labor pool.
Same in Chicago----Pittsburgh ----Cincinnati----Oakland---Newark ---all those mid-size US cities now being developed as US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
This is why we have shouted for several years that the RED LINE LIGHT RAIL was never about a light rail----it was about tunnels and underground oil and natural gas pipeline.
WE THE PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE TO MOVE FORWARD IN OUR US CITY DEVELOPMENT---JUST GET RID OF GLOBAL WALL STREET POLS AND 5% PLAYERS AND LET'S REBUILD OUR OLD PUBLIC INTEREST PUBLIC TRANSIT SYSTEM.
I live in Baltimore City center Charles Village and I know this community has a goal of being one great big global Hopkins campus from east to west with nothing but transient global 1% and their 2% coming and going. Today's homeowners in these US city centers will be exposed to the worst of infrastructure building and be paying the taxes and fees for doing so. In the end there will be no US citizens as homeowners in these areas---it will be all global corporate campus-owned.
Residents express concern about proposed train tunnel in West Baltimore
Jessica AndersonContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
April 6, 2016
Some Baltimore residents whose homes would sit above a proposed train tunnel through Sandtown-Winchester and Reservoir Hill expressed concerns about vibrations, diesel pollution and dangerous freight moving below their homes.
Kathy Epple, president of the Residents Against the Tunnels, which formed last year, said many residents are opposed to the $4 billion project that would replace an aging railroad tunnel under West Baltimore.
"We don't want it under our houses," Epple said, citing concerns about vibrations from possibly up to 388 trains under her home and others, up from 145 that pass through the existing tunnel built in 1873. "It's like living over a railroad yard," she said.
Amtrak wants to reroute the tunnel to increase the number of trains that can pass through it each day. The project would smooth out sharp curves, enabling trains to double their speed.
Jacqueline Thorne, project manager for the state Transportation Department, said her office has been listening to the concerns of the community, and noted that the revised plan will reflect changes made after receiving community input.
Many of the houses in Reservoir Hill are 100-plus years old and some residents worry about how they will withstand the vibrations, Epple said. Officials estimate 138 houses could feel the vibrations, but that those homes would not suffer any damage, including historic homes.
As someone lucky enough to ride the EURO-RAIL these several decades of Europe's best in the world public transit rail system taking citizens from West to East Europe with great dependability------we know to where this development is going----it will replace that great public transit and here we see the DRIVER-LESS RAIL.
Citizens look to JAPAN or newly China to see a high-speed rail used by all citizens. That was several decades ago when left social progressive policies brought public interest transit goals------we will see even these Japanese and Chinese high-speed rail become more and more tied to wealth only.
Whether Europe or US we are entering an initial growth stage for these DRIVER-LESS HIGH SPEED RAIL so global Wall Street pols and players will make all this seem POPULIST. As MOVING FORWARD these few decades builds all that global corporate campus infrastructure we will see the CONTAINMENT piece of transit for the 99% of WE THE PEOPLE.
When I speak to a right wing citizen about these goals of ending all public transportation in US they first pretend it will only effect the poor----and then they get that worried look because they KNOW to where these transit policies go------LET'S NOT MOVE FORWARD back to DARK AGES in public transit.
France aims to have ‘driverless’ high-speed TGV trains by 2023
SNCF will begin testing ‘drone train’ in 2019, though conductors will still be onboard to handle emergencies
by Amar Toor@amartoo Jun 16, 2017, 7:17am EDT
France’s national railway operator aims to have autonomous high-speed TGV trains running by 2023, according to a report from FranceInfo. The train operator, known by the French acronym SNCF, will begin testing a prototype of its so-called “drone train” in 2019, FranceInfo reports.
The new TGV train would be equipped with sensors that would allow it to detect obstacles and automatically brake, if necessary. The TGV, which reaches speeds of nearly 200mph, could be remotely piloted, though conductors will remain onboard in the short term to handle emergencies or unexpected events. SNCF President Guillaume Pepy tells Le Figaro that if the project is successful, SNCF would be the first operator in the world to run automated high-speed trains.
In an interview with FranceInfo, Matthieu Chabanel, the adjoint director of SNCF, compared the autonomous train to autopilot systems used in commercial flight. “In airplanes, you always have a driver, fortunately, but you have an automatic steering system," Chabanel said.
The aim, according to the SNCF, is to increase the speed and frequency of TGV journeys, particularly around Paris, where TGV lines intersect with various local and regional rail lines. The operator believes that the automated system would increase the number of trips between Paris and Lyon by 25 percent.
The SNCF recently announced plans to rebrand its iconic TGV line as “inOui,” in a move that drew widespread criticism and mockery online.
Here is the goal of Chicago's Emmanuel and Baltimore's global Johns Hopkins in Greater Chicago and Greater Baltimore. Our Middle-East global banking meccas are great for testing these driver-less, high-speed CARGO AND PASSENGER trains. None of this has anything to do with PUBLIC TRANSIT-----we see here that pesky CA-based SMART CITY technology. Remeber, Obama funded what was SMALL SATELLITE boom sending millions of small satellites into our air space tied to SMART CITIES and this driver-less rail depends on those SMART SATELLITES.
Meanwhile, our GLOBAL GREEN CORPORATION PARTY sells the idea all this technology is GREEN.....that's why global Wall Street is doing this---they want to take care of PLANET EARTH. This is for what all that GIANT BATTERY TECHNOLOGY is needed----and WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% not only DON'T NEED these high-speed transit infrastructure ----MOST CITIZENS DON'T WANT IT because they know it will not be used by 99% of US citizens. So, Warren Buffett who is being allowed to amass a monopoly in freight rail road corporations will be tying to HIGH-SPEED FREIGHT because you lose if you are a transportation corporation only moving at the speed of public rail or road.
'The California-based firm hailed Tuesday's "historic" agreement. "We begin to evaluate the delivery of the world's first hyperloop system across the country," chief executive Rob Lloyd told reporters.
But the JOBS, JOBS, JOBS say global Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' organizations! Know what? During WW 2 and Hitler's growing those pesky SIEMENS and VEOLA -----that's what those far-right wing corporate fascists were shouting too. Meanwhile the European citizens of captured nations were used as slave labor in building these transportation products. Please look beyond a decade or so to what our children and grandchildren will experience----the 99% black, white, and brown citizens will be that enslaved labor.
500mph Hyperloop train will travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes
10 November 2016 • 8:39am Dubai has agreed a deal with US startup Hyperloop One to evaluate the construction of a near-supersonic transport link that could slash travel times to Emirati capital Abu Dhabi to minutes.
The cash-flush city state, which has recently hosted other hi-tech transport pilots, said it would conduct a "feasibility study" with Hyperloop One to sound out the scheme.
The California-based firm hailed Tuesday's "historic" agreement. "We begin to evaluate the delivery of the world's first hyperloop system across the country," chief executive Rob Lloyd told reporters.
"We will initially focus on the value that Hyperloop One will deliver in Dubai and across the (United Arab) Emirates."
The deal will see both parties explore a route for a vacuum-sealed pod transportation system, which could potentially slash travel times between Dubai and Abu Dhabi - 150 kilometres (90 miles) apart - to around 12 minutes.
The system could later be expanded to link the UAE with neighbouring Gulf countries so that a trip between Dubai and Saudi capital Riyadh - currently two hours by plane - could be completed in under 50 minutes.
Lloyd said his company has also been in talks with transport authorities in Abu Dhabi to discuss the proposal.
While no costs or time-scales were revealed, Lloyd said in a statement that "from a technological point of view, we could have a Hyperloop One system built in the UAE in the next five years."
Our Baltimore citizens can tell you the frustration of reforms in our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zone public transit especially the privatization of our MTA buses. We started with private VEOLA Circulator in deregulating and privatizing public buses and now MOVING FORWARD brings a bus system that is owned and built by global corporations. When we see terms like YELLOW LINE----RED LINE----GREEN LINE these terms now describe all Foreign Economic Zone bus transit. It is not a local public bus system----it is not a US state public bus system----it is controlled by global transit corporations controlling all policy around development. Sure, WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% can come out to public meetings and shout against a bike path or a lost bus stop-----but MOVING FORWARD in Baltimore is installing exactly what they are in Chile. Why would a first world developed nation rich in wealth and resources be building the same public structures as a third world nation?
WE ARE BEING TAKEN TO THIRD WORLD STATUS AND CHILE IS THAT GLOBAL BANKING NEO-LIBERAL FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE----JUST LIKE CHICAGO AND BALTIMORE---NO DIFFERENT.
Remember, these few decades of ROBBER BARON PRESIDENTS AND 5% POLS AND PLAYERS have literally raided all US wealth and assets and the US, states, and local cities and counties will be tied to this same WORLD BANK in funding these infrastructure projects. Well, actually our global Wall Street pols will be giving our revenue to World Bank development corporations which will then do all work in our US cities and that work will look just like this Chilean transit development.
GLOBAL CITIZEN.ORG is an United Nations ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE media outlet so we can go there to see what global 1% have in store for US 99% OF CITIZENS.
Urban transport reform: the Santiago experience
The Chilean government have improved the sustainability of the Santiago transport system.
Brought to you by: The World Bank Group
Drawing partially on the project-financed technical assistance activities, the Chilean Government improved the efficiency and sustainability of the Santiago urban transport system, also known as Transantiago. Improvements included illuminated bus stops, colored-coded bus lanes, improved environmental standards, and improvements in bus services to reduce transfers, increase coverage, and avoid interference with the street markets.
By the end of the 1990s, Santiago’s transport system was suffering from serious problems, including increased car ownership and use, declines in public transport, deficiencies in the organization of the bus system (fragmented bus ownership, competition by operators for passengers, informality and lack of professional management, and lack of integration between the buses and the metro system), limited coordination on transport issues at the metropolitan level, and high bus-related accident and air pollution levels.
In 2000, the Government published the 2000-2010 Santiago Urban Transport Plan. This plan envisaged the transformation of the public transport system. Its unprecedented scope and complexity applied to the city as a whole and affected all public transport modes. The World Bank supported the implementation of the Santiago Urban Transport Plan through a technical assistance loan, which helped in the implementation of the public transport reform arrangements and provided guidance and advice to support this difficult process of transformation.
The project helped the Government of Chile to establish a foundation for a more efficient and sustainable urban transport system. The results achieved included:
Illuminated bus stops in the suburbs, which make the system safer (2011 – 2012).
Colored bus lanes to reduce incursion by cars and speed up bus travel (2011 – 2012).
More stringent environmental standards for public transport vehicles, which in 2011 led to 19.9 percent less particulate matter emissions and 1.7 percent less NOx emissions compared to 2010.
Changes in bus services to reduce transfers, increase coverage, and avoid interference of the bus system with the operation of street markets (2010 – 2012).
Thorough knowledge about the operation of bus depots and terminals and guidance for improvements.
More robust transport planning tools.
Organizational improvements within the Executive Secretary of the Committee of Ministers for Urban Transport in Metropolitan Santiago (Transantiago – SE), the entity in charge of the bus system (2010 - 2012).
Preparation of the basis for the transformation of Transantiago-SE into a more autonomous and independent entity (2006 – 2012).
An understanding of the financial situation of bus operators and some initial enhancements to Transantiago’s financial and payment system (2012).
Bank Group Contribution
The Bank provided US$2.4 million to finance the activities.
The Bank will continue to support the Government in the transport sector through the Joint Study Program, which, in fiscal year 2012, financed a study related to road and congestion pricing and value capture from transport investments. A follow up study is envisaged for fiscal year 2013.
The primary target group included about 4 million public transport users, who are typically people with lower incomes. Because of reduced externalities from public transport, the primary target group included residents making trips to and within the city, regardless of the transport mode, and all inhabitants of the city. The secondary beneficiaries were Transantiago-SE, the project implementation agency, and the Transport Planning Secretariat (SECTRA). These agencies benefited from capacity strengthening, improved analytical tools, improved data, and information.
This piece was originally posted on The World Bank.
We will spend these few days left this week revisiting the decades of discussion by global neo-liberal think tank Brookings Institute and Johns Hopkins as they discussed HOW TO MOVE THE POOR.
What we see in Baltimore these several years was Obama's Federal funding of public transit creating that GLOBAL CORPORATE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS----global R and D comes with its own global corporate campus BUS AND TRANSIT systems. Today we see only COLLEGE TOWN buses taking people employed by and students attending university to and from university-tied connections. This is slowly replacing what was our MTA buses. This Larry Hogan roll-out designed during O'Malley cuts routes in ways that will work towards that goal. Shortened routes will be worked into individual corporate campus private routes -----surrounding communities demolished and built as global corporate campuses will see those shortened routes worked into that private contained campus system. Right now all these corporate campus/university campus connections go to all campuses---soon those ties will break as all Baltimore universities will become ONE GLOBAL CORPORATE JOHNS HOPKINS CAMPUS.
Folks tied to race and class are being told this is about getting the poor out of city center communities. The 5% to the 1% are busy telling their 99% ---don't worry we will see you live where you work......and indeed that is what is happening. As a person having moved by public transportation for twenty years I see the goals---and it is not environmental ----or sustainable for 99% of citizens----it will end in workers being trapped on global corporate campuses.
Today global Wall Street far-right wing CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA are filling those lost public transit venues with more privatized corporations like UBER, ZIP CAR-----but we can see the writing on that wall----as once public taxi cabs affordable to most citizens disappear these UBER et al will see rates soar. Well, they have to pay for all that driver-less technology some way after all.
What we see rolling out in our US cities in infrastructure building---including our transit was planned back in 1990s----this article written in 2000----so no ELON MUSK or LARRY HOGAN planned all this-----if we educate broadly we would have known these goals a few decades ago---as our GLOBAL WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT 'LABOR AND JUSTICE' organization leaders did.
MTA Launches New Bus Routes Around Baltimore SuburbsJune 20, 2016 10:55 PM By Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Today marks the start of Governor Larry Hogan’s makeover of the Maryland Transit Administration’s bus routes.
Four new express routes now link suburbs to suburbs, WJZ’s Alex DeMetrick reports.
A straight line might be the shortest distance between two points, but that’s not the trip customers said they were getting.
“And they said, ‘Listen, we’re in White Marsh and we want to go to Towson, I don’t want to go downtown, switch off to another bus and come back up,'” says Paul Comfort, MTA administrator.
So MTA launched new routes — two linking Owings Mills, Towson and White Marsh, one linking Pikesville and BWI, and one linking Columbia and Harbor East.
“So these are routes that will hopefully get people where they want to go,” Comfort says. “Link them to where the jobs are today.”
The Hogan administration says too many bus routes follow old street car lines into the heart of Baltimore.
“This is Governor Hogan’s transformative process of taking transit into the 21st century,” said James Ports Jr.,Maryland’s Deputy Secretary for Operations.
It will take at least 90 days to gauge ridership on the new routes, but even on this first day, there’s interest.
“So right now is three buses which I need to come see my doctor at White Marsh here,” says rider Leila Vitespic. “No I can just use one of them.”
That cuts her travel time in half, at $2.10 per ride.
Here we see the model for all US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones and those dastardly global corporate campuses. We already know about the gentrification process---first the poor---then the working and middle-class ---and then the merely rich pushed out further and further. What we want to look at is this city center plan where global Google and global APPLE literally own these campuses and do indeed create their own private employee and student transit.....just as Baltimore is doing with its COLLEGE TOWN ----
We also know there is a move to pass laws limiting how many cars can come into these urban work areas. Soon we will not see these miles-long traffic delays because people who work on a campus will live on a campus.
SOUNDS GOOD RIGHT----LIVE WHERE YOU WORK. BUT REMEMBER THE GOALS IN JUST A FEW DECADES IS TO HAVE ALL JOBS ROBOTIC--ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SO THOSE FOLKS COMING TO THESE CITY CENTER CAMPUSES ARE GOING TO BE FEWER AND FEWER AND MORE AND MORE GLOBAL 1%----
So, where will WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% be----definitely suburban and tied to those global corporate campuses being global factories et al.
'You can do math: Ten percent of people working in Cupertino means that 90 percent of the people in the Spaceship will commute. Most of them live in San Jose (10 miles east) and San Francisco (45 miles north). The lack of a cohesive regional transportation network in the Bay Area privileges cars, which is why Google and other tech companies started fielding their own buses in the last few years. (In 2014, San Franciscans angry about gentrification met Google’s buses with resistance.)'
Rural development and infrastructure development is gone----the goal is moving US citizens into these GREATER BALTIMORE GREATER CHICAGO global corporate campuses or to a Foreign Economic Zone overseas. What would someone in rural America do with no job outlets, no transportation, no infrastructure investments---ask those living in rural areas these few decades as their towns decline----it gets worse.
If You Care About Cities, Apple's New Campus Sucks
The new headquarters Apple is building in Cupertino has the absolute best door handles. The greatest! They are, as my colleague Steven Levy writes, precision-milled aluminum rails that attach to glass doors—sliding and swinging alike—with no visible bolts.
Everything in this building is the best. The toroid glass of the roof curves scientifically to shed rainwater. And if it never rains again (this being California), well, an arborist selected thousands of drought-tolerant new trees for the 175-acre site. Not every Apple employee will get to work in the new building—ouch!—but 12,000 will. Of course, it only has 9,000 parking spaces, but that’s supposed to encourage people to take an Apple shuttle to work. And once they arrive, they’re not going to want to leave. The fitness center has a climbing wall with pre-distressed stone. The concrete edges of the parking lot walls are rounded. The fire suppression systems come from yachts. Craftspeople harvested the wood paneling at the exact time of year the late Steve Jobs demanded—mid-winter—so the sap content wouldn’t be ruinously high. Come on! You don’t want sappy wood panels. This isn’t, like, Microsoft.
Whether you call it the Ring (too JRR Tolkien), the Death Star (too George Lucas), or the Spaceship (too Buckminster Fuller), something has alighted in Cupertino. And no one could possibly question the elegance of its design and architecture. This building is $5 billion and 2.8 million square feet of Steve Jobsian-Jony Ivesian-Norman Fosterian genius. WIRED already said all that.
But … one more one more thing. You can’t understand a building without looking at what’s around it—its site, as the architects say. From that angle, Apple’s new HQ is a retrograde, literally inward-looking building with contempt for the city where it lives and cities in general. People rightly credit Apple for defining the look and feel of the future; its computers and phones seem like science fiction. But by building a mega-headquarters straight out of the middle of the last century, Apple has exacerbated the already serious problems endemic to 21st-century suburbs like Cupertino—transportation, housing, and economics. Apple Park is an anachronism wrapped in glass, tucked into a neighborhood.
Apple Park isn’t the first high-end, suburban corporate headquarters. In fact, that used to be the norm. Look back at the 1950s and 1960s and, for example, the Connecticut General Life Insurance HQ in Hartford or John Deere’s headquarters in Moline, Illinois. “They were stunningly beautiful, high modernist buildings by quality architects using cutting-edge technology to create buildings sheathed in glass with a seamless relationship between inside and outside, dependent on the automobile to move employees to the site,” says Louise Mozingo, a landscape architect at UC Berkeley and author of Pastoral Capitalism: A History of Suburban Corporate Landscapes. “There was a kind of splendid isolation that was seen as productive, capturing the employees for an entire day and in the process reinforcing an insular corporate culture.”
By moving out of downtown skyscrapers and building in the suburbs, corporations were reflecting 1950s ideas about cities—they were dirty, crowded, and unpleasantly diverse. The suburbs, though, were exclusive, aspirational, and architectural blank slates. (Also, buildings there are easier to secure and workers don’t go out for lunch where they might hear about other, better jobs.) It was corporatized white flight. (Mozingo, I should add, speaks to this retrograde notion in Levy’s WIRED story.)
Silicon Valley, though, never really played by these rules. IBM built a couple of research sites modeled on its East Coast redoubts, but in general, “Silicon Valley has thrived on using rather interchangeable buildings for their workplaces,” Mozingo says. You start in a garage, take over half a floor in a crummy office park, then take over the full floor, then the building, then get some venture capital and move to a better office park. “Suddenly you’re Google, and you have this empire of office buildings along 101."
And then when a bust comes or your new widget won’t widge, you let some leases lapse or sell some real estate. More than half of the lot where Apple sited its new home used to be Hewlett Packard. The Googleplex used to be Silicon Graphics. It’s the circuit of life.
Except when you have a statement building like the Spaceship, the circuit can’t complete. If Apple ever goes out of business, what would happen to the building? The same thing that happened to Union Carbide’s. That’s why nobody builds these things anymore. Successful buildings engage with their surroundings—and to be clear, Apple isn’t in some suburban arcadia. It’s in a real live city, across the street from houses and retail, near two freeway onramps.
Except the Ring is mostly hidden behind artificial berms, like Space Mountain at Disneyland. “They’re all these white elephants. Nobody knows what the hell to do with them. They’re iconic, high-end buildings, and who cares?” Mozingo says. “You have a $5 billion office building, incredibly idiosyncratic, impossible to purpose for somebody else. Nobody’s going to move into Steve Jobs’ old building.”
But that’s all future-Apple’s problem. Today-Apple’s problem is how the campus fits into Cupertino and crowded, congested, expensive Silicon Valley.
Between 2010 and 2015 the San Francisco Bay Area added 640,000 jobs, with more than a third of that growth in tech. But the region didn’t add nearly enough housing; with the exception of a spike during the boom years leading up to the 2008 recession, the number of new housing units built in the city of San Francisco has trended steadily downward, and the same is true for other Bay Area cities. Here’s what happens when supply fails to meet demand: The median price for a home in the Bay Area has climbed to $800,000. It’s even higher in Silicon Valley.
That’s starting to change. San Francisco has 62,000 units in the pipeline, and San Jose is adding thousands every year, too. (To be clear, those numbers are still far lower than places like Houston and Atlanta.) But the towns along the 101 and 280, the homes of companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook? Nope. Cupertino, Mountain View, and Palo Alto all have tens of thousands of workers in the tech business, adding more and more all the time, but those cities have been reluctant to build new houses or apartments.
How is this Apple’s problem? “Apple’s obviously very important to the city, and when they came in with that plan, we understood this wasn’t going to be just any development,” says Aarti Shrivastava, Cupertino’s assistant city manager. “They had certain needs.” Heightened sensitivity to security was one of them, which meant no public access—and even closing a major road.
In the early days of the project, reports suggest Apple wasn’t willing to participate in “community benefits,” financial or otherwise, and Cupertino’s city council didn’t seem too willing to push one of the city’s biggest employers and taxpayers. The mayor at the time tried to propose higher taxes on the company, but the city council didn’t support the move.
Over time, though, Apple committed to giving the city some money to help with traffic and parking. “We had to bring them into our world. They don’t do urban design. They don’t do planning. We needed to talk to each other,” Shrivastava says.
In its HP incarnation, the site had about 5,000 workers; the new Apple complex will more than double that. Just 10 percent of them live in Cupertino, but according to an Environmental Impact Report on the project that an Apple spokesperson sent me, that still means that demand for Cupertino housing will increase by 284 percent. Apple is paying a “Housing Mitigation Fee” to the city. It’s based on overall square footage, but it turns out Apple is only adding about 800,000 square feet of building over what used to be on the site. So the company agreed to double the usual fee. But since the city had already halved the fee, so Apple is just paying … the fee. It’ll be about $5 million.
You can do math: Ten percent of people working in Cupertino means that 90 percent of the people in the Spaceship will commute. Most of them live in San Jose (10 miles east) and San Francisco (45 miles north). The lack of a cohesive regional transportation network in the Bay Area privileges cars, which is why Google and other tech companies started fielding their own buses in the last few years. (In 2014, San Franciscans angry about gentrification met Google’s buses with resistance.)
Apple has shuttles that range the entire peninsula and into the East Bay and has committed to raising the number of trips to its headquarters not in single-occupancy vehicles to 34 percent. According to the EIR, just 1.5 percent of commute trips to Apple’s existing facilities are on public transit; by that calculation, the company says, the public bus system’s plenty robust enough. That logic is as circular as the building; if you don’t build it, they won’t come.
Of course that wasn’t all Apple worked on with Cupertino. Because part of the new campus subsumed what was going to be public space, Apple paid $8.2 million so Cupertino could build a park somewhere else. And the company agreed to help address the community’s major concern: traffic. Cupertino already had big plans for walkability and bikability; Apple is paying for a lot of those efforts around its campus. It ponied up $250,000 for a feasibility study on improving one of the nearby intersections, and an extra $1 million for another. Recognizing that not having enough parking for everyone on site meant that people were going to park in nearby neighborhoods, Apple is paying $250,000 to Santa Clara and $500,000 to Sunnyvale in parking restitution. “We worked very hard with both cities to figure out what amount would be OK, and Apple was very open to that,” Shrivastava says.
Oh, and two big ones: Apple is one of Cupertino’s biggest sources of tax revenue, but the city used to forgive all of Apple’s business-to-business sales tax. Now the city will get 65 percent of it. And the company built, at a cost of around $5 million, a system to bring recycled water from Sunnyvale to hydrate the new landscape. That’s not a direct community benefit, but developments at two more sites, the Hamptons and the old Vallco Mall, will also use that water if and when they get built.
Still, though...Apple has $250 billion in cash. Against that, these community benefits feel small. The company could have chipped in to double the frequency of CalTrain’s commuter rail. It could have built a transit center in Cupertino, which, unlike Mountain View and Palo Alto, has none. “Apple could have done anything. Money was no object,” says Allison Arieff, editorial director for the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association and lead author of its recent report on corporate campuses. “They want to be innovative in everything, and they’re not innovative in this thing.” Apple is instead making significant improvements to roads and highways. “If the intractable problems of the region are housing and congestion, they’re giving the finger to all that,” Arieff says.
The problems in the Bay Area (and Los Angeles and many other cities) are a lot more complicated than an Apple building, of course. Cities all have to balance how they feel about adding jobs, which can be an economic benefit, and adding housing, which also requires adding expensive services like schools and transit. Things are especially tough in California, where a 1978 law called Proposition 13 radically limits the amount that the state can raise property taxes yearly. Not only did its passage gut basic services the state used to excel at, like education, but it also turned real estate into the primary way Californians accrued and preserved personal wealth. If you bought a cheap house in the 1970s in the Bay Area, today it’s a gold mine—and you are disincentivized from doing anything that would reduce its value, like, say, allowing an apartment building to be built anywhere within view.
Meanwhile California cities also have to figure out how to pay for their past employees’ pensions, an ever-increasing percentage of city budgets. Since they can’t tax old homes and can’t build new ones, commercial real estate and tech booms look pretty good. “It’s a lot to ask a corporate campus to fix those problems,” Arieff says.
But that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t try. Some companies are: The main building of the cloud storage company Box, for example, is across the street from the Redwood City CalTrain station, and the company lets people downtown park in its lot on weekends. “The architecture is neither here nor there, but it’s a billion times more effective than the Apple campus,” Arieff says. That’s a more contemporary approach than building behind hills, away from transit.
When those companies are transnational technology corporations, it’s even harder to make that case. “Tech tends to be remarkably detached from local conditions, primarily because they’re selling globally,” says Ed Glaeser, a Harvard economist who studies cities. “They’re not particularly tied to local suppliers or local customers.” So it’s hard to get them to help fix local problems. They have even less of an incentive to solve planning problems than California homeowners do. “Even if they see the problem and the solution, there’s not a way to sell that. This is why there are government services,” Arieff says. “You can’t solve a problem like CalTrain frequency or the jobs-to-housing ratio with a market-based solution.”
Cities are changing; a more contemporary approach to commercial architecture builds up instead of out, as the planning association’s report says. Apple’s ring sites 2.5 million square feet on 175 acres of rolling hills and trees meant to evoke the Stanford campus. The 60-story tall Salesforce Tower in San Francisco has 1.5 million square feet, takes up about an acre, has a direct connection to a major transit station—the new Transbay Terminal—and cost a fifth of the Apple ring. Stipulated, the door handles probably aren’t as nice, but the views are killer.
Cupertino is the kind of town that technology writers tend to describe as “once-sleepy” or even, and this should really set off your cliche alarm, “nondescript.” But Shrivastava had me meet her for coffee at Main Street Cupertino, a new development that—unlike the rotten strip malls along Stevens Creek Blvd—combines cute restaurants and shops with multi-story residential development and a few hundred square feet of grass that almost nearly sort of works as a town square.
Across the actual street from Main Street, the old Vallco Mall—one of those medieval fortress-like shopping centers with a Christmas-sized parking lot for a moat—has become now Cupertino’s most hotly debated site for new development. (The company that built Main Street owns it.) Like all the other once-sleepy, nondescript towns in Silicon Valley, Cupertino knows it has to change. Shrivastava knows that change takes time.
It takes even longer, though, if businesses are reluctant partners. In the early 20th century, when industrial capitalists were first starting to get really, really rich, they noticed that publicly financed infrastructure would help them get richer. If you own land that you want to develop into real estate, you want a train that gets there and trolleys that connect it to a downtown and water and power for the houses you’re going to build. Maybe you want libraries and schools to induce families to live there. So you team up with government. “In most parts of the US, you open a tap and drink the water and it won’t kill you. There was a moment when this was a goal of both government and capital,” Mozingo says. “Early air pollution and water pollution regulations were an agreement between capitalism and government.”
Again, in the 1930s and 1940s, burgeoning California Bay Area businesses realized they’d need a regional transit network. They worked for 30 years alongside communities and planners to build what became BART, still today a strange hybrid between regional connector and urban subway.
Tech companies are taking baby steps in this same direction. Google added housing to the package deal surrounding the construction of its new HQ in the North Bayshore area—nearly 10,000 apartments. (That HQ is a collection of fancy pavilion-like structures from famed architect Bjarke Ingels.) Facebook’s new headquarters (from famed architect Frank Gehry) is supposed to be more open to the community, maybe even with a farmers’ market. Amazon’s new headquarters in downtown Seattle, some of 10 million square feet of office space the company has there, comes with terrarium-like domes that look like a good version of Passengers.
So what could Apple have built? Something taller, with mixed-use development around it? Cupertino would never have allowed it. But putting form factor aside, the best, smartest designers and architects in the world could have tried something new. Instead it produced a building roughly the shape of a navel, and then gazed into it.
When this global VEOLA/TRANSDEV----all one corporation in merger-----was installed in Baltimore we saw all kinds of electronic bus boards installed which after only five years no longer work. Then here comes Hogan's LINK commuter buses and low and behold they have that same electronic bus board even more complicated. The goal of these transit policies is to send as much tax revenue as possible to these global corporations as profit. Those electronic boards stop working---they will sit there broken until the next phase of reform.
Maryland has installed what it calls STATE-WIDE COMMUTER BUSES all privatized to these same global corporations. This eliminates all MTA county commuter bus lines if a county even had one. What it also does is KILL LOCAL PRIVATE bus lines already in place to cover what MTA was not. This HOGAN LINK will kill all commuter bus services in Greater Baltimore Greater DC suburbs AND it will disappear once city citizens are gentrified out to suburbs and global corporate campus global factories are built in Greater Baltimore communities. We are not getting better service with non-stop commuter buses from suburbs into Baltimore---we are getting temporary transportation for citizens now having a job downtown but soon will not.
'But a new story is emerging now. Local activists with Stop Veolia Seattle have discovered that in the midst of a loud funding crisis, Metro quietly agreed to a $7 million per year cost increase to the contract it holds with French multinational union-buster and privatizer of public services Veolia/Transdev'.
What are now EXPRESS COMMUTER BUSES coming in from suburbs in Greater Baltimore will very quickly disappear this decade or so as global corporate campuses are built in surrounding communities. What is left for citizens in those suburbs? No public transit-----SHARING ECONOMY----UBER, ZIP CAR----ET AL.
Access to nowhere: Metro’s Veolia/Transdev scandal
by Susan Koppelman | April 8th, 2015
Metro keeps popping up in the news: the nearly averted cuts in bus service last year, the ongoing contract negotiations and arbitration with bus drivers, the recent March 1 fare increase. Each story has a common theme — Metro needs more revenue.
But a new story is emerging now. Local activists with Stop Veolia Seattle have discovered that in the midst of a loud funding crisis, Metro quietly agreed to a $7 million per year cost increase to the contract it holds with French multinational union-buster and privatizer of public services Veolia/Transdev.
Notorious for union-busting on four continents, in 2012 alone Veolia was found guilty of illegal anti-union tactics in Arizona, Nevada and Connecticut.
As one of the leading privatizers, globally, of essential public services like water, transportation, trash and energy, Veolia is in the business of turning public investments into private profit. Repeatedly, Veolia has been found guilty of price gouging the public, while under- investing in public infrastructure and jeopardizing public health and safety.
In 2008, in the midst of a heated battle with labor, King County Metro handed Veolia/Transdev a contract for 70 percent of the operation of our Metro Access paratransit bus service for people with disabilities and the elderly. One-hundred-forty unionized drivers lost their jobs or took pay cuts. Poor working conditions include insufficient breaks and “flex-time” scheduling,
which means drivers don’t know what hours they will work, or if they are even working at all, until the day they are scheduled to work. Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond is quoted in the Seattle Times saying that the County would save $1 million annually as a result of this contract.
So why did Metro approve a change to the contract that increased costs by at least $7 million annually until 2018?
This is one of the questions that King County Councilmembers posed to Executive Dow Constantine in a letter dated March 18. This follows a unanimous September 2014 resolution by the Martin Luther King County Labor Council calling upon the county to end the contract and bring Access in-house.
Access users have been reporting problems with the Access service for a long time, but since Veolia took over, the service has only gotten worse. Riders report longer waits for pickups, and that inefficient routes can add an extra 30 to 60 minutes or more on top of someone’s wait time.
The March 1 fare increases hit Access users the hardest. Standard, youth, senior and disabled fares all went up 25 cents, while Access fares went up by 50 cents, from $1.25 to $1.75, an increase of 40 percent; the cost of a monthly pass increased by $17. This represents a $350,000 increase in revenue to Metro skimmed from disabled and elderly Access users for a service that is far from meeting their basic transportation needs.
Lost wages for Access drivers totaled an estimated $1,115,520 in the first year that Veolia took over. This represents a $7,968 annual salary cut for 140 drivers. It is likely that these lost wages are the $1 million that Desmond referred to as “savings” from selecting union-busting Veolia.
But while recent Metro fare increases (expected to bring in an additional $6 million a year) and lost wages were the subject of public debate, Metro quietly approved a contract change that allowed annual costs for paratransit to rise $7.3 million to $30.3 million per year until the contract expires in 2018.
Even this is not the upper limit: A clause in the contract change notes, “actual contract amount will depend on the service range and number of service hours delivered.”
And so it goes that here in King County we have our own story of austerity measures stripping labor and raising costs for the poor, while giving behemoth corporations handouts from our public coffers.
Constantine must order an audit immediately in order to show he’s taking residents and the Council’s concerns seriously.
Stop Veolia Seattle is also insisting that Constantine meet demands of Access users to achieve a more reliable, direct and timely service, and that Metro work with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 to bring Access bus service in-house.
Our Access service is broken, and getting rid of Veolia/Transdev is the first step towards fixing it. Our public dollars should be invested in King County and not handed over to a scavenging union-busting corporation.
'Microsoft workers should never have to leave campus again to buy a beer, replace a bike tire or heal their spiritual energy through Reiki'.
This is it.....think of kinds of global corporate campuses-----Microsoft has technology engineers---it has hardware factories-----it has huge energy platforms tied to global online services-----it has call centers. A corporation like UnderArmour specializing in garment/athletic equipment has these same breaks in their corporate campuses. When we say UnderArmour in Baltimore will take up all of West Baltimore that is what we will see ---a progression of global campuses and global factories tied to producing that product. Each of these campuses whether white collar professional engineers or dye and garment factories will see the same CONTAINMENT OF WORKERS. Believe that white collar professionals earning $20-30 a day with tons of private expenses has little disposable income and indeed will be trapped on these corporate campuses as well as the $3-6 a day global factory worker.
At the same time, the complete monopoly of all business sectors by that corporation as we shout against global Johns Hopkins----everything on that campus will become a SUBSIDIARY of that corporation and WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% have no free will, no choice, fear of what might come next and with no transportation---no way to protect freedom. This is what we are seeing in Baltimore and our MTA public transit will disappear with only short shuttles inside corporate campuses or driverless shuttles between campuses.
Microsoft workers get their very own mall, The Commons, on corporate campus
Originally published April 20, 2009 at 12:00 am Updated April 27, 2009 at 3:36 am
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Microsoft is opening today a splashy dining-shopping destination called The Commons, a signature piece in a massive expansion that is adding the equivalent of a Columbia Tower to what the company calls the world’s largest corporate campus. Microsoft is opening the splashy dining-shopping destination The Commons, a signature piece in a massive expansion that will add the equivalent of a Columbia Tower to the corporate campus.
Sharon Pian Chan
Microsoft workers should never have to leave campus again to buy a beer, replace a bike tire or heal their spiritual energy through Reiki.
Today, the company is opening a splashy dining-shopping destination called The Commons, a signature piece in a massive expansion that is adding the equivalent of a Columbia Tower to what the company calls the world’s largest corporate campus.
The Commons is a cross between the University of Washington’s HUB, University Village and Pike Place Market.
The complex of 14 restaurants, shops, soccer field, even a pub is the gooey filling in the emerging West Campus, a 1.4 million-square-foot town square of four office buildings that will house the company’s Entertainment and Devices division, which developed video-game player Xbox and music-player Zune.
While the head of Microsoft’s business remains on the other side of Highway 520 — the Windows and Office groups, CEO Steve Ballmer’s office — its stomach is clearly moving west.
“We’ve got a daytime population of over 50,000 people, so when you’re looking at that size of congregation of people, you start thinking about the things they need in their daily lives,” said Chris Owens, general manager of worldwide real estate at Microsoft.
“The Commons … has a lot of features to help people get things done, whether that’s banking or eating or shopping or taking care of their cellphone connectivity, getting exercise, connecting with people socially, without having to get off campus.”
The Mixer, a two-story building, includes a spinoff of Pike Place Market, complete with a miniature version of the red neon clock, hunks of Beecher’s cheese, jars of pepper jelly and Chukar cherries.
The 106,000-square-foot building also houses a post office, a credit union, a bicycle-repair shop and cellphone dealers. Upstairs, a conference center can hold 1,000 people for a meeting.
Across a patio area surrounding a fountain is the Submixer building, which holds a spa where employees can get a trim or a facial, buy scented candles at a Watson Kennedy store and browse an art gallery featuring art produced by employees.
The Spitfire pub, after some haggling, will open up for business shortly, but will serve alcohol only after 3 p.m. by group reservation. Only employees can use the Commons’ buildings.
“It’s really nice. It has a futuristic vibe,” said Hrvoje Benko, a researcher on interactive touch technology at Microsoft Research. “It’s a little mall like.”
Benko, who was eating a free ice cream on a “soft” opening day last week, said he could see coming down to buy lunch a few days a week. He was most excited about having his own soccer field because the fields on main campus are often booked.
The main campus also has food courts and sports fields, but the offices grew piecemeal. The West Campus, which has a capacity for 4,500 workers, represents a new approach for Redmond, Owens said: a master-planned office and recreation complex.
Studio D, a four-story West Campus office building that filled up in March, features a glittery beaded curtain with the images of Capt. Kirk and Spock — William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, not J.J. Abrams’ millennial version — creating the effect that Star Trek Enterprise officers are transporting into the lobby.
For now, workers on the east side of 520 can head west by crossing the overpass at Northeast 40th Street or taking a Microsoft shuttle.
The company is planning to build a bridge over the freeway. The bridge, to be completed next year, would run from Northeast 36th Street on the west to Northeast 31st Street on the east.
Those plans continue even after Microsoft announced 5,000 job cuts and scrapped some real-estate expansion plans in January. Owens said the cuts did not affect West Campus plans.
“We made a decision to do this years ago,” he said. “It’s serving such a large population, it’s not that much of a set of frills to the campus. It’s going to be serving 10,000 to 15,000 people a week.”
He did say the company held down costs by choosing less expensive fixtures and finishes in the new buildings: “We haven’t gold plated anything in that facility.”
He said they were also keeping the opening celebrations subdued in a down economy. “We’re not going to be having Bruce Springsteen come and play or anything like that.”
'Xu Min’s internship program, according to investigators, sent her and about 300 fellow students to serve as cheap labor on the global electronics assembly line'.
This is of course to where Baltimore and US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones are going with vocational tracked pre-K-career sending children as apprenticeships using them as slave labor. Now, if you are on that corporate campus 15-18 hours a day---you are eating there---you are schooled there---you live there and VOILA ---no need for transportation public or private. This is what United Nations SUSTAINABILITY means as regards transportation reforms.
We are well on our way to this same free labor all around in Baltimore as reforms in MTA public transit have goals in making sure one stays on that corporate campus.
This is why our US city universities are being called ANCHORS in development.
All Baltimore pols are global Wall Street CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ----Baltimore City Council and Baltimore Maryland Assembly working hard to FIX BALTIMORE AS MOVING FORWARD ONE WORLD ONE HUMAN CAPITAL CONTAINMENT policy.
'The sense of outrage trickles down the production line: As intern Li Xiaoying told researchers, “I’d rather work for free and learn than be here.”'
The Secret Weapon for Cutting Costs at Chinese Factories? Interns
And you thought American interns had it rough…By Michelle Chen
October 12, 2015
Chinese interns work late shifts at factories despite this being a violation of their internship agreements. (Uffe Weng / Danwatch)
“We are standing at the assembly line the whole day, doing the same task again and again. It has nothing to do with my education,” says Xu Min, a 19-year-old college student in Hubei, China. “None of us want to be here. We are all depressed, but we have no choice.… The work is exhausting.”
For ambitious young people worldwide, the internship offers an on-ramp to a corporate career through office grunt work. But whereas American interns “pay their dues” as coffee-making cubicle peons, Chinese interns serve as a different kind of cog in the “emerging economy’s” manufacturing machine. Xu Min’s internship program, according to investigators, sent her and about 300 fellow students to serve as cheap labor on the global electronics assembly line.
An investigation by Danish labor watchdog group Danwatch traces connections between students at Chinese vocational schools and universities, and supplier factories of major tech brands, which furnish European educational institutions and other consumer markets with information technology equipment. So Xu Min’s labor on a server assembly line run by the Taiwanese multinational company Wistron may, ironically, help her European student counterpart enjoy state-of-the-art gadgetry on her university campus.
Drawing on field research and interviews with workers last summer, investigators concluded that an officially sanctioned pipeline of deregulated labor allows both schools and multinationals to benefit from the exploitation of young temp workers. Under pressure from their institutions and the approval of Western brands, “Thousands of Chinese students…work 10-12 hours a day, six days a week, for up to 5 months.” Their overtime—typically needed to cover basic living expenses--may amount to as much as 100 hours a month, far exceeding the regulatory limit of 36 hours per month. The investigated subcontractor, Taiwanese multinational Wistron—along with its multinational clients Lenovo, Dell, and HP—have acknowledged Danwatch’s concerns overall, but generally denied students were systematically forced to work.
Traditionally, rural migrants have filled manufacturing labor demands, but conscripted interns now form a major surplus army of labor, enabling manufacturers to capture a vulnerable youth workforce that’s increasingly striving for a life beyond factory drudgery. Though less publicized than Asia’s notorious garment sweatshops, advocates say the exploitation of contingent student workers follows similar practices of predatory capitalism as “development.”
Exploitative internships are imposed as graduation requirements, Danwatch reports, violating both Chinese laws and the International Labour Organisation Convention on Forced Labor.
A labor recruiting agent told Danwatch that Wistron’s Zhongshan factory held some 15,000 workers and “between 2,000 and 3,000 students,” with more due for arrival soon, and that they “have to work as regular workers, they also do overtime, but they are not supposed to work the night shift.”
But investigators found that many do work night shifts, and the system seems to allow employers to skirt other social-security mandates. Norma Josefa Martinez, author of the report, says via e-mail from Denmark that the gargantuan, controversial Apple supplier Foxconn has been known to employ some 150,000 interns and, according to academic researchers, may “save around 45 million Yuan (6.3 million euros) in a single month by not providing their 150,000 interns with welfare benefits and insurances.”
Education Ministry regulations mandate that internships be “directly relevant” to students’ academic programs. However—echoing common criticisms of internships in Western countries—students (typically not in tech-related fields) told researchers their duties were not only irrelevant but were potentially undermining their academic progress. Business student Zhu Wen told researchers: “The school sent us here, but I don’t learn anything that contributes to my studies in the assembly line. I can’t stand it here.”
Xu Wen, of Huanggang Normal University, told Danwatch that after students learned they were being sent for factory stints at Wistron shortly before summer started, “Many students protested, as we are accounting majors and want to do relevant internships. The school told us that if we refused, we would not get our diploma.”
The student preciariat’s complaints highlight structural economic problems facing China’s upward-striving youth. College is sold as a ticket into the middle class, but amid exploding wealth inequality, social frustration is roiling as students chafe against Beijing’s wall of elitism, which reserves the best jobs for children of the connected upper class.
While schools tell students “eating bitterness” through harsh work builds morale, they often feel powerless under Beijing’s paternalistic labor policies. Her research shows, Jimenez says, that many students just accepted that “that is just how things are and even though it is not fair, that is how the system is.”
This system could undermine labor standards for all, as factories’ intensifying use of intern labor apparently provides an alternative to better-regulated, higher-cost standard employees, according to Danwatch. As the labor recruiter explained matter-of-factly: “We are not hiring workers, because the student workers have arrived.”
Meanwhile, regular workers are experiencing significant pay raises through local minimum-wage hikes—populist policies enacted amid spiking labor unrest among factory workers and slumping economic growth.
The government recently announced plans to dramatically expand vocational programs--a seemingly well-intentioned policy that, without tighter oversight, could indirectly expand the trend of “student interns being used by businesses as a source of cheap and flexible labour,” according to Hong Kong–based advocacy group China Labour Bulletin.
Though the companies deny charges of forced labor, in statements to Danwatch both HP and Dell have acknowledged “gaps” in their supply chain oversight, and reported they had temporarily suspended their internship programs and “committed themselves to monitor Wistron Corporation internships programs more closely in the future.”
But for the students milling through factories now, activists want corporations to establish strong public procurement guidelines in universities’ contracts with tech vendors, coupled with transparent independent auditing (an alternative to the conventional voluntary, weaker “corporate social responsibility” codes).
Perhaps the hope lies in the students themselves. Just as student-labor activism spawned global movements against sweatshops and other corporate abuses, today the Hong Kong-based student group SACOM is leading campaigns against tech-sector worker abuse on the mainland.
The sense of outrage trickles down the production line: As intern Li Xiaoying told researchers, “I’d rather work for free and learn than be here.”
Now transborder solidarity could reemerge in the tech space as students at opposite ends of the campus supply chain work toward labor and educational freedom.