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Total shutdown of ATS at ORD May 30

Total shutdown of ATS at ORD May 30

Old May 28, 2021, 6:59 am
  #106  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Given the heavily beat-up condition of so many of the landside buses being used as replacement service for the ATS, the buses must have been very cheap or they overpaid a lot.

Can they sell the buses when the ATS is back in service? Either way, having the ATS out of service was going to be almost inevitably more costly than not having it out of service for so long.

Maybe getting away from buses at ORD and going for an ATS was a bad idea from the moment someone thought of having ATS at ORD.
Got to imagine the major cost in the operation is the labor. Lots of bus drivers, attendants, etc. and for a long period of time.

I would also think they need to keep some buses in case of an ATS breakdown. Would be interesting to know their contingency plan for an unexpected break down.
I have seen it at EWR, where the walk between stations is easier, and it caused a lot of chaos.
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Old May 28, 2021, 7:32 am
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The concept of the ATS is a good one, IMHO. There are three features it provides that buses can't:

1) It's a mostly weather sealed operation as you never go outdoors for embarking or disembarking.
2) It's immune to the traffic situation.
3) It can handle T1/2/3 to T5 transfers plus all rental car faclity traffic in one operation. It shouldn't be discounted that the number of people going to and from the rental car facility must be far greater than those simply moving between the terminals.
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Old May 28, 2021, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio
The concept of the ATS is a good one, IMHO. There are three features it provides that buses can't:

1) It's a mostly weather sealed operation as you never go outdoors for embarking or disembarking.
2) It's immune to the traffic situation.
3) It can handle T1/2/3 to T5 transfers plus all rental car faclity traffic in one operation. It shouldn't be discounted that the number of people going to and from the rental car facility must be far greater than those simply moving between the terminals.
4. They can scale service without scaling labor costs.
5. Way easier with luggage, small kids, mobility devices, etc.
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Old May 28, 2021, 11:29 am
  #109  
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There is a limit to how much the ATS could scale up service without scaling up other costs.
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Old May 28, 2021, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Given the heavily beat-up condition of so many of the landside buses being used as replacement service for the ATS, the buses must have been very cheap or they overpaid a lot.
So you're saying these are not the same old busses that were in use before the people mover was first opened in 1993? I figured they had been sitting in storage since then.
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Old May 29, 2021, 6:33 am
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The summer travel season is upon us and they are still running empty trains night and day "testing" the track? Just buy some liability insurance and open this up already.
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Old May 29, 2021, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by dc10forlife
The summer travel season is upon us and they are still running empty trains night and day "testing" the track? Just buy some liability insurance and open this up already.
Unfortunately their issues go way beyond liability insurance. According to the WGNTV News article posted upstream by Putnik

WGN Investigates obtained emails between the contractors and a consultant hired to oversee the troubled project. As recently as February, the airport consultant wrote “the overall project is simply regressing.”

The same email detailed difficulty the new automated train cars had in operating in snow, ice and cold.

“Vehicle reliability has degraded to essentially zero,” the consultant wrote.
The issue of vehicle reliability has me very concerned.
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Old May 29, 2021, 8:30 pm
  #113  
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Not being able to operate reliably in cold, icy and snowy conditions sounds like a recipe for problems. It is Chicago, not Miami.

MSP handles inclement weather so much better than ORD, and their airside terminal mover is exposed to the natural elements of Minnesota. It does have its outage issues at times. But as MSP is not the complicated behemoth that is ORD, ORD needs to get this right in a way that MSP really need not. Does ORD have insurance or other financial coverage for future ATS outages?

Originally Posted by _kurt
So you're saying these are not the same old busses that were in use before the people mover was first opened in 1993? I figured they had been sitting in storage since then.
No, as I don’t know. They just seem to be very old and badly beaten up buses. Seems appropriate for use in a movie about a post-apocalyptic world where buses from the early 1980s are the last vestiges of civilization gone by.
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Last edited by GUWonder; May 29, 2021 at 8:37 pm
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Old Jun 9, 2021, 12:25 am
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The people mover improvement project is an appalling boondoggle at this point.
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Old Jun 9, 2021, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by rdurlabhji
The people mover improvement project is an appalling boondoggle at this point.
What I don't get are these comments by officials around snow and ice being a big problem for reliability. I understand the inherent differences between a rubber-tired vs steel rail system but, golly gee, the old trains ran on rubber tires for the better part of 30 years. Does anyone remember the ATS coming to a grinding halt when it snowed?
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Old Jun 20, 2021, 8:02 am
  #116  
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Originally Posted by JimInOhio
What I don't get are these comments by officials around snow and ice being a big problem for reliability. I understand the inherent differences between a rubber-tired vs steel rail system but, golly gee, the old trains ran on rubber tires for the better part of 30 years. Does anyone remember the ATS coming to a grinding halt when it snowed?
I think it goes way deeper than just that.

Shortly after WGN News posted their latest expose on the card being unable to operate in our deepest part of winter, the City of Chicago trotted out one of their functionaries with a response (link). Here is the part I found most troubling:

An airport spokesperson issued the following statement:

During the pandemic, cargo remained open between Canada and the United States, but the presence of part of the contractor’s organization in Canada affected the progress of the ATS. ATS contractors claim that in connection with the pandemic, key personnel have influenced their ability to travel to Chicago to support testing, technical troubleshooting, and test runs. In addition, ATS contractors claim that there was a pandemic-related impact on the supply chain of key ATS-related components and components, as seen in many industries around the world.
[sarc] I wonder how other scientific, engineering and technical organizations managed to get work done during the pandemic? When I was working during the first part of the pandemic (up to June 2020), we used a lot of remote tools and remote conferencing tools to do our work. But this must have been for a much smaller scale as we only had hardware, personnel and applications running in 60+ other countries and continued to make deadlines without skipping a beat [/sarc].

Seriously, do they expect people to believe this stuff? I cannot imagine that technology produced in this age does not have remote access, reporting and diagnostic facilities. When I was working, we had hardware and applications that were maintained directly by vendor support organizations from all over the world. IMO, there is something fundamentally wrong with the solution being implemented.

How can you buy a people mover system from a Canadian organization and the solution not being able to run in our winter (when the Canadian winter in many cities is much harsher than ours).
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Old Jun 21, 2021, 1:15 pm
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Originally Posted by cheltzel
I think it goes way deeper than just that.

Shortly after WGN News posted their latest expose on the card being unable to operate in our deepest part of winter, the City of Chicago trotted out one of their functionaries with a response (link). Here is the part I found most troubling:



[sarc] I wonder how other scientific, engineering and technical organizations managed to get work done during the pandemic? When I was working during the first part of the pandemic (up to June 2020), we used a lot of remote tools and remote conferencing tools to do our work. But this must have been for a much smaller scale as we only had hardware, personnel and applications running in 60+ other countries and continued to make deadlines without skipping a beat [/sarc].

Seriously, do they expect people to believe this stuff? I cannot imagine that technology produced in this age does not have remote access, reporting and diagnostic facilities. When I was working, we had hardware and applications that were maintained directly by vendor support organizations from all over the world. IMO, there is something fundamentally wrong with the solution being implemented.

How can you buy a people mover system from a Canadian organization and the solution not being able to run in our winter (when the Canadian winter in many cities is much harsher than ours).
I get the cross border contractor issues as not everything can be done remotely. My company had to postpone a couple Amazon projects in Canada because we could not get our site and project managers across the border. But we have been doing projects in Canada since March of this year. However, this project should have been done a year before the pandemic started, as WGN explained.
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Old Jun 21, 2021, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by cheltzel
....

How can you buy a people mover system from a Canadian organization and the solution not being able to run in our winter (when the Canadian winter in many cities is much harsher than ours).
You would think they'd be experts but are there any cold weather transit systems running on rubber tires? IIRC, Montreal is all below ground and that's the only one I can think of this side of Paris. What does Paris do when it snows, which I'm sure is quite rare anyway? And what did the the O'Hare ATS do in the past 25+ years when it snowed?
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Old Jun 21, 2021, 2:58 pm
  #119  
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Originally Posted by Putnik
I get the cross border contractor issues as not everything can be done remotely. My company had to postpone a couple Amazon projects in Canada because we could not get our site and project managers across the border. But we have been doing projects in Canada since March of this year. However, this project should have been done a year before the pandemic started, as WGN explained.
I can see postponing doing any work, especially if you are starting a very large project from scratch. But we are talking a project that had been active for something like 3 years before the start of the pandemic. If you are at the point where you need to have your senior people onsite to make progress, figure out what is going wrong, etc when the project is approaching double its original timeline, there is something fundamentally wrong going on.
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Old Jun 22, 2021, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by cheltzel
I can see postponing doing any work, especially if you are starting a very large project from scratch. But we are talking a project that had been active for something like 3 years before the start of the pandemic. If you are at the point where you need to have your senior people onsite to make progress, figure out what is going wrong, etc when the project is approaching double its original timeline, there is something fundamentally wrong going on.
I agree with you.
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