The Big Screen Chase Scene Part II

Couldn’t wait to know how the chase scene turned out? Here goes:

The bus is busy, and HERO glances through rear window at BAD GUY who seems content to follow until she alights. She takes out her smartphone to check the route and timetable of the bus she’s on.

BAD GUY speaks into his Bluetooth phone to VILLAIN.

BAD GUY: I’ll catch her if she gets off soon, but all the buses go to the railway station, so take the car there and be ready to head her off.

VILLAIN: Do you think she’ll try to catch a train?

BAD GUY: Maybe, but she lives here. Where would she go?

HERO is looking at a real time information display of train departures on her phone. VILLAIN drives to pick-up area at the railway station.

The bus pulls into the interchange stop. HERO gets off and heads for the station entrance. VILLAIN and BAD GUY abandon their vehicles after the briefest hesitation and go after her. They cannot see which way she went. Three departing trains are flashing on the board, leaving in under two minutes, from three different platforms. BAD GUY and VILLAIN run to two different platforms. They cannot see HERO.

HERO cycles away on a hire bicycle from the stand by the station’s rear entrance. She breathes a sigh of relief. She is safe. For now.

Now comes the review of key transport planning motifs and ideas. Please do read the pre-cliff-hanger blog as well – we’re looking at the whole scene.

First, did you note the use of five to six modes, depending on whether private bicycle and hire bicycle are counted as separate modes or not? No, I’m not counting the trains either, but, as with almost all journeys, this chase begins on foot.

Second, this fictitious city has excellently planned public transport, with bus lanes and priority signals, smartcards, real time journey planning apps, bus-train interchange and bus timetables that are in sync with train departures.

Third, I’m not advocating stealing or even borrowing unchained bicycles, but the presence of one suggests a decent bicycle culture in the area, and the quick and convenient hire bicycles are a great example of cycle-friendly infrastructure.

Finally, do note the use of sustainable transport by our hero, compared to the car and motorcycle by her pursuers. I am making a point in this, although that point is not the value judgement you might assume regarding the use of private motorised transport by villain and bad guy compared to the hero. Rather, the point is that the hero got away using well-planned and well-integrated transport, despite her pursuers having the supposedly more convenient and flexible private transport modes at their disposal.

So is this scene realistic, especially the last point? I certainly hope so. Particularly if transport planners stick to their day jobs and make seamless travel a reality. That would be useful for most people, even if your average travelling person isn’t being chased! Therefore, I’ll leave the chase scenes to the movie people, and work on giving them real-street inspiration. Not that I expect them to thank me in their Oscar speech.

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