Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A society open to new technologies – Huffington Post Quebec

In order to succeed, a company must be open to new technology and connected to the world.

When you live abroad for ten years, return to Montreal is always warm at heart, even when it’s just for a week in winter. But there are always things that bother us, especially when we do not see the progress we would have thought when we left the city last. It begins with the arrival in Dorval. Transportation options to the different parts of the city are few. The subway does not make it. No train to the city center, despite a train station right across the parking lot. The taxi or bus 747 seem the only options, and until recently it requérait you pay with the right account. After removing dollars and made the exchange, tourists have only to go to venture into traffic.

When we arrived in Amsterdam, Berlin or Copenhagen, it is always easy to take the subway and it’s not expensive. We must link Dorval Metro or train. It’s the least things for a 21st century metropolis.

There is no service Uber either. The Montreal taxis do not seem to want to take part in the movement. However, there is no more convenient than Uber. In London, I used constantly when the metro ride is not optimal, and that I have been very useful in Bangkok when I had more local currency or that I do not feel like negotiating with traditional drivers.

Information for tourists, more comfortable and cheaper than a regular taxi, or a similar service Uber dominate the market at a given time. How long do we want to look backward? Technology certainly suppress short-term jobs, but that does not mean that we should not adopt them. They create more jobs and improve our quality of life. We must have a look to the future and welcome with open arms while compensating and guiding those who lose their job.

What would we look if we did not allow consumers to purchase airline tickets online, although this method has more or less ended the travel agencies?

The other annoyance is that it’s not just the city that Dorval lack of connectivity. It is also with the major North American cities. There are no fast train to Quebec City or Ottawa or direct flights to Chicago, for example. Between Tokyo and Sapporo, a city of two million people in northern Japan, there are 80 per day, or every 15 minutes. The flight to New York for his costs $ 350 when you are lucky. It costs to our prosperity.

The connected regions thrive, those isolated décrépissent. The low cost of my business and personal travel in most European countries is due to two wonderful companies: easyJet and Ryanair. These airlines allow jumping from one city to another for about $ 100 round trip, on average.

It’s amazing for tourism but also for bringing countries together, allowing ideas to flow, technology to spread, universities to work closely together, and business people to forge trade links . By allowing to operate in North America, Bombardier would have the opportunity to sell a hundred CSeries. What convince the Quebec government to open its air space?

Travel by train remains a more enjoyable experience than by plane. Fewer constraints for luggage, less (or no) queues, more space to work, a direct service of a city to another, and all that with hours of departure and arrival more reliable and predictable.

A fast train like the Japanese Shinkansen would make the Montreal-New York route in less than two hours. The Montreal-industry benefit; quick links extend markets. The Montreal bagels still warm could arrive in New York and dominate the market.

Just as direct flights and cheap, a fast train from Quebec to Miami surely would have incalculable economic benefits by abolishing constraints to trade and intellectuals, as well as facilitate tourism and reduce emissions of greenhouse gas emitted by the trucks.

This would encourage the revitalization of towns along the route and provide workers with a wider network of potential jobs along the rails. With a fast train, it would be easy for example to both spouses to live together and work in Montreal and Sherbrooke. Despite an already extremely dense, England plans to build a fast line between London and Birmingham, the second largest city, to reduce to 50 minutes a trip that takes 85.

And who will participate in its construction? Bombardier, the world leader in rail technology. So why not here? Investing in railways in North America in addition to selling many CSeries would create many jobs, allow Bombardier to achieve economies of scale, thus increasing productivity and unmatched global competitiveness.

While the Japanese and Chinese are building more modern magnetic levitation trains, I feel that Quebec is content to watch our infrastructure deteriorate or crumble by complaining that not enough money for such projects. Perhaps we should remind ourselves that we are one of the richest nations in the world?

Living abroad is an eye opening experience. This allows us to observe a multitude of public policies and new technologies, to judge the advantages and disadvantages and to compare them to what we do here. To prosper, Quebec should adopt all the best practices and stop protecting vested rights taxis or airlines.



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