King of Řots at parliamentary session on 15 March; traffic in Kotōlets and Nekkar to be suspended

(Nekkar, 23 February 2017)King Verteř V Storm will attend a session of the parliament of Řots on 1 Třeesip (15 March), prime minister Vervets Bekřa Nureet himself announced today. Those who watched members of the government and parliament up close in the last week, may have suspected that something important and/or unusual was going on, as everybody seemed far more stressed and busy than normal. The last time a head of state of Řots attended a session of parliament was by King Dot XIII Tora in 3405 (= 1929), so almost ninety years ago; his successor Dot XIV Vāsterets and his successors kept themselves out of state politics altogether, with modernity arriving too rapidly for them as of the ’30s (= the ‘50s of the 20th century).

The King’s decision to attend a parliamentary session is all the more surprising because of his age: the current monarch is probably in his late 80s and succeeded his brother King Bēserets Sot (3438 – 3492 = 1961 – 2016) only two years ago. As the prime minister announced, the King’s health is in a fragile state, so any unexpected surprise should be avoided at all cost and the Codex should be followed to the letter: the 1200 year old set of rules that determine the lives of the Royal Family and most of the nobility, and which prevents any change, causing them to form a society within the society of Řots that has been living in isolation and according to medieval tradition until present day.

The visit will also require a change of schedule for inhabitants of both the royal capital of Kotōlets, the civil capital of Nekkar, and some roads between the two: as the royal family and most of the nobility are still living by the Codex, the King and his entourage are most likely not used to the existence of e.g. cars, which means that car driving will be temporarily suspended along the route the Royal Carriage will take. The Carriage will not take the highways, but rather follow the ‘scenic’ road via Tarřebo, Ōřlemup, and Vulipo. The King will spend a week in Nekkar and stay in the Merbu-Kevigu Palas in the suburb of Merp and receive guests there; he will get out only to attend the parliamentary session on the 15th. The prime minister announced that security in Nekkar will be heavily increased during that week, but citizens should not be hindered in their daily activities. In any case, citizens of Nekkar will have a day off on the 15th.

The King’s attendance of parliament also requires that its members as well as the members of the government who attend the session, need to dress up in formal attire as prescribed by the Codex. All persons in Řots who end up in a position of importance have one set made for these eventualities, but in practice, nobody ever needs to wear it and clothes are often acquired second hand from previous politicians if their sizes are more or less the same. Politicians who discover that their formal dress doesn’t fit, now have less than three weeks to make the necessary changes to their clothing.

The conduction of the parliamentary session itself will also be different than usual: speaking or asking questions in the Řosu Git (‘House of Řots’, Řots’s house of parliament) has to be done according to strict formulas so it may take longer to discuss certain topics: a general old-fashioned literary way of speaking is required, mentioning the King all the time, referring to oneself in the third person, and avoiding the suggestion that anyone but the King may have taken any decision, e.g. the minister of Housing could say: ‘By His Majesty’s Leave, His Minister of Housing and Regional Planning humbly informs the Honorable Speaker of this House that …’ instead of the more usual ‘Mr Speaker, I have decided that …’ Many politicians who are expected to speak in the Řosu Git that day will need to practice using this formal way of speaking even in spontaneous replies.

Although many are looking forward to having their first ever glimpse of a Řots monarch, there has been criticism about all the fuss that this royal surprise visit will entail. According to some, Nekkar will be struck by a week of chaos, and if the King plans to schedule more of these surprise visits, some things need to be changed – but this would essentially mean a modification of the Codex, which although not impossible, seems very unlikely.


Starmobile, QUARTA at odds as QUARTA bans car sales advertisments on buses, trains, QUARTA property

QUENTINSBURGH, FREEDEMIA: Freedemia’s biggest transit system and their biggest car manufacturer are at odds today, as the Quentinsburgh Urban Area Rapid Transit Authority (QUARTA) bans all advertisements for car sales in stations, at stops, and on the sides of buses and trains. Starmobile-Jazzalini had been attempting to purchase New Years’ ads across the system when QUARTA announced the decision.

Advertisements aren’t nonexistant in the QUARTA system by any means. While an effort is made to limit the trainside/busside ads to certain spots, non-intrusive ads can be found all throughout the system, especially inside trains and buses and at stops and stations. Recent improvements to QLine trains have even made it possible to have ads that change as the train ride continues, acting similarly to a billboard, announcing different businesses as the train gets closer to certain stops.

QUARTA’s decision comes around the same time that QUARTA and the cities in the Quentinsburgh metropolitan area changed their signage ordinances to direct retail signage to pedestrians and transit riders. As the area has attempted to move away from car reliance, QUARTA and the cities have attempted to shift the paradigm of residents to transit, walking, and biking as the defaults and driving as secondary.

The decision to ban advertisements for car sales was an attempt to move further towards that goal, according to QUARTA CEO Kellen Hyrper. “Car advertisements try to present auto driving as the “Freedemian Dream”, a luxury, a convenience, something to aim for. There’s nothing wrong with having a car to use in moderation, but it shouldn’t be viewed as the goal to get away from using transit. And it would be counterproductive to promote this in our transit system.”

Starmobile has split stakes here, and different divisions seem to have different responses. Starmobility, the bus/train/industrial truck manufacturing division of Starmobile, actually makes a large majority of QUARTA’s buses, and they’ve been partners for many years, with QUARTA being their largest client. Starmobility is very much against making this a big deal as they and QUARTA benefit mutually from their partnership. On the other hand, Starmobile-Jazzalini’s primary car sales divisions have sometimes relied on the advertising and the mentality of “Cars are cool!”, even in a country like Freedemia where transit isn’t seen as second class.


Access to T4 Changke International Airport

SINGKANGIA– The following is a guide on how to access the Terminal 4 of the airport which opens on 25 December, Christmas Day.

By Car:

Parking is available at Terminal 4 Carpark near the terminal. To drive to the terminal, take the Terminal 4 Link, a tunnel linking from the roundabout to the terminal.

Visitors are advised to go to the airport’s website to read up about the parking charges.

By Taxi/Private Hire:

Visitors can take a taxi there, but are advised to ask taxi drivers to drop them off (or pick up) at the departure hall instead of the arrival hall, as the road to the arrival section is still under construction. We aplogise for the inconvenience caused.

By Bus:

There will be extension to the current bus services. The information will be released near the opening date. There will also be complimentary 24-hour shuttle bus services from the Terminal 2 Arrival Area or from Terminal 1 which directly goes to the terminal.


The SKUD station for the terminal is still closed pending maintenance and signalling works. Visitors still can take the SKUD to Changke Airport SKUD Station and take a shuttle bus to the terminal.

We wish all visitors Merry Christmas and for an enjoyable time at Changke Airport T4.

Official guide released with permission from the Changke Aiport Board (CAB). A digital PDF poster will be posted on the airport’s official website.




QUARTA launching study for proposed Jackson Blvd/Stanley Rd Line 16 BRT, other long term corridor studies announced

QUENTINSBURGH, FREEDEMIAQUARTA, releasing their new 2030-2050 plans, has announced several major corridor studies, starting with a short term study they are launching now for a Line 16 BRT to serve the Jackson Blvd/Stanley Rd corridor, building on the success of the Line 15 BRT serving the islands off the coast that opened in 2016.

Currently, bus route 33C provides frequent (usually about every 6 minutes) reliable local bus service to Jackson Blvd and Stanley Road, and the ALink and BLink select bus service lines, remnants of an early failed attempt at BRT, run along Stanley Rd, providing some limited stop service to the corridor. However, this new plan would call for the construction of a complete busway along Jackson Blvd and Stanley Road, similar to the existing Line 15 BRT running between Shelton Beach, Terrapin Park, Quentins Point Beach, and Hayes Island. Stations will require pre-boarding payment at turnstiles like the rest of the QLine metro system, and though mostly at grade, similar to a light rail, the BRT would run separate from traffic.

Line 16 BRT Corridor Study

One major question the city faces is design. The arrangement of the lanes, especially around major difficult junctions such as Quentinsburgh/Capitol East (serving the Emmerly/Capitol/Quentinsburgh Transit Center) and in southern Shelton Beach (where it would end with the Line 15 BRT) needs to be figured out, and elements like flyovers would likely need to be restrained to the most necessary locations to keep costs down. However, this is a relatively short term project, with the environmental study planned to conclude by the end of 2018, and if the study makes it clear this project will work and demand exists, QUARTA hopes to have it completed by 2023-2025, depending on the amount of added construction of flyovers and stations that would be required.

QUARTA also announced several longer term corridor studies;

  • West Mathersburgh Blvd Corridor, likely BRT or a branch of line 5 from Mathersboro to Haroldsburgh
  • Bond Extension to Kettingdon Heights, proposed extension of line 2
  • Hinespoint Rd Corridor, likely BRT or an extension of line 12; will not happen until demand increases
  • Putnam & Grentens Corridors, likely BRT providing an E-W connection thru N Central Quentinsburgh
  • Greendale Meadow/Greencreek Corridor, likely BRT, a branch of line 4, or a new line branching off line 3 to Gillepsie

Current QLine Corridor Studies (1)

The city of Gillepsie was especially happy about the Greendale Meadows/Greencreek Corridor Study, which would be the first project to try to extend the metro system, whether by subway or BRT, to connect Downtown Gillepsie with Downtown Quentinsburgh.

“We’ve managed to do okay in spite of it, but we’re the only major suburb in the area with no 1-seat metro ride to downtown Quentinsburgh,” Gillepsie Mayor Regina Thompson explains. “Other cities like Northcross, Highfield, Caroll Hill and Franklin Hill, and even far out areas like Haroldsburgh, Mathersburgh, and Horizon Springs have been given direct access to downtown. Why haven’t we? We’ve been well established for years and still isolated. They’ve talked about extending the 10 a couple extra stops to connect us to downtown when it’s finished, but even then, a local only train that runs through all of North and West Quentinsburgh before getting to downtown is barely more convenient than what we have now, and would be even longer than our current two-seat ride on the 11 and 7x.”

While routes haven’t been decided yet, the Gillepsie extension corridor has three alternative modes planned as options right now.

Option A would simply create a BRT line connecting Gillepsie with the Emmerly/Capitol/Quentinsburgh transit center, and is the cheapest alternative. There is a version (Option A2) that would have the BRT also run nonstop from Emmerly/Capitol/Quentinsburgh to Quentinsburgh Union Station, adding the extra service that would connect Gillepsie to downtown Quentinsburgh.

Option B would create a new elevated branch of line 4X that would run to Gillepsie, and the idea of how that would work and how it would affect existing routing is somewhat fuzzy. The QUARTA system doesn’t currently have any branching metro or BRT lines, so they don’t have any clear examples within the system to look to.

Option C, preferred among Gillepsians, would create a new elevated metro line, likely line 17, that would run with Line 3 from the terminus at Quentinsburgh Beach through Downtown Quentinsburgh and the Emmerly/Capitol/Quentinsburgh Transit Center and then branch off around Greencreek to run to Downtown Gillepsie, likely terminating alongside line 11. This alternative would provide local and express service to Gillepsie, but would also be the most expensive of the three. But Gillepsie residents say it’s worth it. And it would likely take pressure off of Line 4 as well, making it significantly preferable to the Line 4 branch alternative.

Many Kettingdon Heights residents are very hopeful about the line 2 extension. Similarly to Gillepsie, the neighborhood has a history of not having adequate metro connections to downtown Quentinsburgh.

“We’re living in one of the poorest parts of the city”, explained Jules Randolph, a father with 5 kids living in Kettingdon Heights. “And sometimes it can be difficult to get where I need to for work. I finally got a good paying job closer to downtown, but the subway doesn’t reach all the way out here so I have to take the local bus all the way in. Don’t get me wrong, the bus isn’t terrible, but it’s pretty slow and inconvenient. Our neighborhood has been a bit neglected, especially considering early plans from three decades ago showed lines running to Wally Cleaver and Kettingdon. They could have given us the service we needed with just a few extra stops built on, but they chose not to. But at least it looks like they might finally do it.”


Christmas Treat at Changke

SINGKANGIA– Terminal 4 of Changke International Airport will be opened on Christmas Day, December 25. Visitors can have a sneak peek into the airport terminal before operations commences next May, offering a glimpse of what the terminal will offer to future passengers.

Under a new concept of “Fast And Seamless Travel” (FAST),  it will see options such as self-service check-in, automated bag drop, immigration clearance and boarding being rolled out extensively in the new building.  ‘The technology will eliminate the need for manual identity checks by staff”, said Chariman of the Changke Airport Board (CAB) Fredrick Ho. “It enables processes and checks for departures to be automatic . Productivity will be improved as check-in staff can be redeployed for other roles. For our passengers, it will mean shorter queues and greater flexibility to check-in at their own convenience using the self-service check-in options, enhancing their airport experience.”

“I am happy to say that the terminal is completed ahead of schedule”, said Minister for Infrastructure and Development (MID) Jienqi Lang. “We expected delays due to obstacles, but fortunately these obstacles are overcome and we managed to give our citizens a nice Christmas treat. The terminal is unique not just because it is built on a separate island, but it is the first terminal to fully use the FAST concept. Other terminals are underway implementing this. This terminal is one of the stepping stones to lead Singkangia into a tech-savy nation.”

He added that ‘final touches’ are on the way, so that everything in the airport will run smoothly. The terminal is expected to raise Changke Airport’s total passenger capacity to 82 million per annum when the terminal began full operations. “The terminal is also said to be the largest yet, about T1 and T3 combined together, but still smaller than the upcoming Terminal 5, or Changke Airport II (CAII), which is still under planning stage”, said the Minister.

Visitors can access the terminal via a shuttle bus from any of the three terminals, or take a car through the Terminal 4 Link. The terminal will have an addition SKUD (SingKangian UnDerground) station by itself, which will open on the same day the airport starts operations, but not on Christmas Day. Visitors are allowed on the public area, but the transit terminal is still out of bounds.



FIB, Quentinsburgh Police, QUARTA, investigating after death threats toward President Rosenthal broadcasted over the loudspeakers and displays of a Line 3 train


QUENTINSBURGH, FREEDEMIA- 4:10am: The Freedemian Investigation Bureau (FIB) and the Quentinsburgh Metro Police Department (QMPS) are investigating an incident on a QUARTA train yesterday evening, after the displays and loudspeakers on a Line 3 QLine Metro train began broadcasting threats and warnings towards President Angela Rosenthal as it pulled into the Capitol Mall/National Court station, the closest station to the Executive Residence.

Reports from police and witnesses say that around 10:26pm, as the local 3 train was pulling into the station, the loudspeaker began crackling and the displays on the front, sides, and insides of the train glitched and turned bright orange as if rebooting. After that came about five minutes of cryptic text, including the phrases “hope you enjoyed your reelection, it’s your last term anyhow” and “here today Angela, but soon with the angels”.

Trains were backed up for around a half-hour during the initial confusion, but QUARTA rerouted all Line 3 and Capitol Shuttle trains onto the express tracks and announced that trains would be skipping the stop until around 6:00pm Saturday evening to give the police and the FIB the chance to fully investigate to make sure that there’s no threat to the safety of the riders.

“So far it appears the displays were somehow hacked from the outside. No one operating the train or its displays/loudspeaker were responsible for the incident”, Police Chief Henriette Martina explained to reporters. “But this is going to require a pretty thorough investigation.”

“We’ve had incidents where displays have been glitchy before, and even one or two dumb pranks like the incident last baseball season when some kid made the display of a Capitol Shuttle say ‘Qburgh Quails are looserss heh get rekt noob subscribe to my TubeMe’, but never anything like this before,” Lenny Grent, with the technology support and IT division of QUARTA, explains. “It’s only happened with someone editing what the displays say like twice since we created the newer systems 10 years ago, and usually things so minor that it wasn’t worth investigating too deeply. We honestly didn’t expect something this serious to come up. I believe we fixed the initial glitch and vulnerability on most newer displays, but this was a renovated Q500 train and I think it’s using one of the early display systems, which might be part of the problem.”

President Rosenthal was recently reelected, and still maintains a near-record approval rating of around 80%. The seeming lack of enemies or disapproval makes the incident even more odd in the eyes of many. But security will be high near the Capitol Mall in the coming weeks as the investigation continues.

Vice President Patrick Houser and Vice President-Elect Katherine Nelzer are expected to give a joint speech later today addressing the cybersecurity state of Freedemia and what they’re getting ready to do to address it. While the whole plan is still in progress, currently there are plans to send a bill to the legislature by February that completely overhauls the military to include major cyber security provisions and departments instead of a focus on land/sea/air combat.

QUARTA, QDOT announce beautification project for the “Rail Wall” near Hayes University, taking suggestions

QUENTINSBURGH, FREEDEMIAQUARTA and the Quentinsburgh Department of Transportation announced today that the “Rail Wall”, a commonly cited eyesore in the Hayes neighborhood in south central Quentinsburgh, will be undergoing a beautification project within the next 2 years, and that they are taking suggestions for ways to make the area special.

The section of track “affectionately” known as the “Rail Wall” stretches from Freeman Square Mall in downtown to Hayes University’s campus, and is mostly next to Freeman Road around QMedCtr Warren and Railroad Street (named after the railway, who’da thunk it) just south and west of the main part of Hayes University.

Sketch of the Rail Wall (2)
Location of the “Rail Wall” in Quentinsburgh, generally defined by the area where the tracks for the 4, 4x, and CS are directly above the tracks for the 7, 7x, 14, 14x, AX and the freight/commuter tracks.

Below grade in a sort of ditch along most of the rail wall are FreedemiRail and freight tracks, making most of the roads passing by bridges over the ditch. These tracks had been there before the QLine subway was built.

The wall part is an interesting aspect that comes from the metro, not the freight tracks- there are two very large elevated structures for the QUARTA QLine Metro immediately above the freight/FreedemiRail tracks, as QUARTA used the existing tracks’ right of way.

The first structure, built one level above street level and two levels above the freight tracks, today houses lines 7, 7x, 14, 14x, and the AX (Airport Express). It was originally built for the second branch of the then QUARTA Red Line Subway back in the early 1950s. It being such an old structure, one of the oldest metal elevated structures in the system, it’s not as aesthetically pleasing as many later structures, though some locals have some affection for the rustic burgundy steel.

The second structure, built one level above the tracks for the 7, 14, and AX, houses lines 4, 4x, and the Capitol Shuttle. Constructed in 2015 as a pre-Pancontinental Games extension of the 4 and 4x was completed, it was controversial at the time of building, and in many ways still is.

The decision to extend the 4 and 4x was made back in 2005, originally just planned as an extension running roughly under 9th Street connecting to the Freeman Square station (7)(7x)(14)(14x). However, demand from Hayes University students who wanted a better connection to the 2, 4, and 5, pushed for the extension to reach all the way to campus. This forced QUARTA to build a section of track essentially parallel to the existing tracks because the capacity of one set of tracks was roughly three major lines. Eventually, the Capitol Shuttle would also be extended to the campus, and both lines would share the new structure and terminate at Thurman/Hayes University (4)(4x)(7)(7x)(14)(14x)(CS)(AX).

With the new structure being nearly brand new, more design and decorative thought went into it and it is generally seen as more aesthetically pleasing than the older structure below, and renovations to the stations on the older platform have made them fit with the historical architecture of the neighboring campus . However, the two structures together still make up a 3-4 story wall of train structures- which most living in the area consider an eyesore.

Sketch of the Rail Wall
A sketch of the “Rail Wall” near the Hayes University campus. The multiple structures and levels are visible here.

A couple ideas have come in so far. One suggestion included murals of the Hayes University campus and the Hawks mascot and other artwork. Another was just to do cosmetic work to the structure and build a shell that fits the campus and neighborhood’s architecture better. A third one suggested plant walls on both sides of the tracks.

Whatever designs are chosen, the design will be split into two spaces with differing themes, one to reflect the Hayes University campus, and the other to reflect the Warrens Square neighborhood. QUARTA and QDOT will continue to take suggestions through the end of the year.