The municipal transporter system in San Francisco is shown in the Voyager episode 'Non Sequitur' to have a Mission District line:

mission district line TRANS FRANCISCO

This makes sense for train transit, like BART in today's San Francisco. However, this is stated to be a transporter system, presumably beaming people around the City. So why does it have lines? Do transporters have stops? The sign says 'Express Stop', but aren't all transporters express? How does a 'line' work in the context of transporter public transit?

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    It probably makes sense, from an urban mass transit perspective, to transport a thousand people at a time from one dedicated location to another one on a set schedule. It allows tighter packing of people relative to transporters and avoids trying to deal with multiple transports targeting the same destination at the same time.
    – DavidW
    Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 14:29
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    "Line" is a traditional name. In this Star Trek area there was still an energy cost associated with transporting on a planet that increased dramatically with distance (dissimilar with free space transportation that starships usually engaged in). So this is more of a "Mission Neighborhood" than a "Mission Line": the destinations you could reach cheaply. Like now if you have landlines you might have a local exchange you can reach cheaply (or for fixed cost/month), local toll which is a larger geographical area you might pay a low cost per minute, and long distance.
    – davidbak
    Commented Apr 1, 2023 at 20:11
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    It could be the reason is similar to why you might still hear about someone "hanging up" a call on a mobile phone. Or why groups of related content on YouTube are called "channels". Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 12:28
  • Star Trek transporters are point-to-point. So, yeah, you can call it "stops". And as you can see with ship transporters it takes almost the same effort to transport a bunch of objects as to transport one. So for public transit it would be efficient to batch people in one "stop" location (as much as possible) and transport to another "stop" where they either stay on the "line" or switch to another. And "express stops/lines" would be the ones that have longer transporting range, so you, say, can get to other side of the world with less "stops" on the way.
    – user28434
    Commented Apr 3, 2023 at 22:34
  • I thought this was asking why there are lines in the sense of queues. Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 17:37

1 Answer 1


It's a public transportation system

As visible in the answers to Why is there a Golden Gate Bridge and a road in "Star Trek: Picard" in San Francisco?, there is still a system of public transportation which doesn't involve beaming in place in San Francisco.

Having rewatched Non Sequitur right now, they are simply saying "We need to catch our transport", which in this case relates to actual public transportation cards. They are not referring to beaming around.

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