Lore Bite: Transportation in NewEdo

Lore Bite: Transportation in NewEdo

Division 1 Report, File 0912538881496.12.67

NewEdo’s transportation grid is dominated by its extensive train system. With infrastructure that generally predates cars, most of the city was not originally built to facilitate road traffic of sufficient volume to be convenient for the metropolis’s 50-million-plus population. Newer or heavily redeveloped Districts like The Walk and Glittertown have retrofitted surface networks to accommodate personal vehicles, but vast swathes of the city continue to be served almost exclusively by public transportation. 

To get from one District to another, the most efficient (relative to both time and energy) method is by far the NewEdo Train Network (NTN). With six primary lines - the Central, Coastal, Edo, Fuji, Owari, and Tokaido - nine spurs, and hundreds of stations, NTN services 83% of the city. Trains run above and below ground depending on topography and geology, so a train that you boarded in the sixth subbasement of a Downtown office tower might cross the Waneda River on a bridge suspended below road traffic then arrive at your stop in The Crossing at a platform built into the third floor of a shopping mall. The NTN network is dense, overlapping, and often confusing, but it can get knowledgeable riders across town faster than any other mode of transport barring a helicopter (and, arguably, the Skytrain; see below). Trains are all electric, running on powered tracks but equipped with backup batteries to provide at least five hours of service in a blackout emergency. NTN is owned 51% by the state and 49% by a conglomerate of private families and businesses who helped build the system over the past two centuries. 

Competing directly with the NTN is the Metro Bus Service (MBS). With its fleet of thousands of road vehicles in a variety of shapes and sizes, MBS advertises that it services the parts of NewEdo that NTN can’t or won’t, while still attempting to expand its influence through areas of the city with perfectly adequate train coverage. MBS started as a community effort to bring underserved sections of the population closer to stations on the NTN and, as such, has a strong foothold in many of NewEdo’s less glamorous Districts like the suburbs of Calico and Saito, the workshops of Handakawa, and the industrial era crescent between Mad City and Port Velasis. Where NTN presents itself as a public service by the state, MBS is proudly independent, owned by a joint venture between Clan Hotomori (and, presumably, its Yunyosha Syndicate connections) and Saiko Corp, the vehicle manufacturer. In its core service areas, MBS drivers are known to be somewhat… protective of their territory, and personal vehicles sharing the road with MBS buses run a solid chance of (minor) collision. Laws that enshrine the population’s right of access to convenient transportation generally protect MBS in all but the most egregious of road warrior incidents. 

The newest addition to NewEdo’s transportation grid is the Lanley Skytrain, a suspended maglev rail that soars through the city five storeys above the street. The Skytrain project began twenty years ago, in response to the opening of Kikuchi Airport (which threw the city’s otherwise well established transportation network into some confusion). Owned by the Kikuchi family, with infrastructure built by Tiger Kumitate, and running trains designed and manufactured by Kinumoto Light Industries, the Skytrain went from concept to completion in less than three years. It serves a corridor between Kikuchi Airport and the Metro Special Ward, granting convenient airport access to the city’s municipal core of influence. Skytrain tickets aren’t cheap and security is strong, giving riders a sense of entitlement usually unavailable on mass transit. 

The road network in NewEdo is convoluted. Newer Districts have sufficient dedicated roadways to make personal vehicles a viable form of transportation, at least within those Districts. The Walk, The Hills, parts of Downtown, Glittertown, most of Akiba, and the Kashi Trade Zone all have modernized surface grids that support personal vehicle traffic. And while you can get almost anywhere in the city in a personal vehicle, the traffic patterns and road infrastructure throughout most of NewEdo make that prospect one that places a much higher value on prestige or privacy than efficiency or convenience. With street patterns that evolved from pre-modern plans based on topography, tax codes, and geomancy, much of NewEdo is a hassle to navigate by car, and drivers are forced to contend with buses and delivery trucks which have the legal right of way. 

In contrast to the public road system, there’s an efficient commercial highway system that connects all of the city’s main economic Districts called the Special Inter Network Express (or SpINE). The SpINE comprises long, wide, sections of highway where trucks and some buses are controlled by a central routine that maximizes speed and safety. Personal vehicles are prohibited on the SpINE and most modern intelligent vehicles shut down if forced to approach any of the network’s access points. In rare cases where local emergency services are insufficient for any given incident, emergency vehicles can use the SpINE to quickly get across town. NEOSAMA, the city’s pseudo-paramilitary police enforcement unit, has unrestricted access to the SpINE. 

Information on NewEdo’s canal network is not publicly available. Authorized users can refer to entry 0000045529127.00.14 for details.

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