What Are the Next Steps in Getting a Monorail, or Is This Really the End?
by Bob Fleming
About the Seattle Center Monorail
Seattle Center Monorail web site
Advantages of monorail
My opinions about Seattle area monorail
Former Seattle Monorail Project
A Proposed Regional Monorail System
Arguments against monorail and my responses
My ideas for monorail system design
My ideas for routes
(PRT) Personal Rapid Transit
Frequently asked questions
Links to other monorail sites
Other Sites of MineA Greater Seattle My mobility web site My transportation web site My mass transit web site The Fleming Family home page
I really can’t believe the dream is over. If that is all it was, just a dream, then I could accept it. But it is not only a dream, it is a vision of a modern rapid transit system, a vision based on facts.
Within an urban environment that is already built up, monorail costs less per mile than light rail or other alternatives, is separated from the delays of surface traffic, is safer, and less disruptive to neighborhoods than surface light rail.
The Green Line project was almost ready to go. Approval at the polls would have meant construction would begin in early 2006 and passenger service would have begun about the end of 2010 or early 2011. Then people would have discovered the advantages of the line and the overall public mood would be to support the construction of more lines.
But previous errors combined with serious problems with financing in 2005 public opinion against the monorail. But the problem was in financing, not in the project itself. Reality got lost in all the negative publicity and confusion. So the project was defeated at the polls. See “What Went Wrong?”
This is truly a tragedy. (See “The Seattle Monorail Tragedy”.) Not only will construction be delayed for no telling how long, but in the meantime the land that has already been purchased for the line will be sold off. So when the next effort to build a monorail gets underway, if it is the Green Line (which makes sense because it is already designed), it will be necessary to reacquire the land, probably at higher prices, especially if new building have been built on the land. And construction costs will be higher than now because of inflation. And if interests rates go up the financing will cost more.
I firmly believe that a monorail system is better than alternatives, at least in certain environments. I see no better alternative for the Green Line route. I feel that we must still try to build the Green Line. These are the things I see that should be done to achieve this goal:
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©2003 Robert M. Fleming Jr.
This page was last updated on 20 March 2013