Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to build a monorail in the city. His reasoning is they are cheaper to build than subways but won’t face interference from traffic like light rail.
Despite futurist fantasies of the past, there are only a few monorails in the world, and most are in Japan. There are good reasons why no other American cities emulated the Seattle World’s Fair monorail: they are ugly, expensive, slow, and don’t move very many people. A monorail in India fit the Antiplanner’s definition of high-cost, low-capacity transit.
By coincidence, two days after the mayor announced the monorail idea, Disney World had to shut down its monorail when parts began to fall off of it onto the rail. With shared, driverless cars right around the corner, the last thing Los Angeles needs is a new kind of infrastructure it won’t be able to maintain, but last November the mayor persuaded that spending $120 billion on transit would relieve congestion (it won’t), so they might as well blow it on something ridiculous. Continue reading